Tag Archives: Research

WWI Research project update

HOD Poster
Excited to see that the research group from our The Boys on the Plaque project with Fabrica gallery is yielding lots of new leads about our soldiers from WWI.

Research Project Update

Since the launch of the project, we have made real progress in the couple of months since we started. We now have a great group of volunteer researchers that are hard on the case of investigating the 95 soldiers names that are on the plaque.
Our first training session took place this month at Jubilee Library where we learnt how to log on to the computers, use websites such as Ancestery.com, Findmypast, the British Newspaper Archive and many more. During this tutorial run by Brighton and Hove Library service, we also learnt how to deal with difficult or similar names, missing documents, confusing handwriting and the most annoying misspelt names.

Jubilee Library , BOTP Training Meeting August 2015
Jubilee Library , BOTP Training Meeting, August 2015

So far we have uncovered some really interesting discovers about our boys.

Robert Filtness, Brighton-born, lived in 63 North St before the war, was a ‘Political Speaker’ for the Tariff Reform League. His brother Walter H Filtness  was an optician who served in the RAMC and spent 3 months as a patient in the Royal Pavilion Hospital towards the end of the war with typhoid.
Cpl Arthur John King (4 Feb 1895 – 15 July 1916) Arthur was enlisted as a private to the 6th (Cyclist) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regt (regimental no. 177) but died of accidentally drowning off the Kent coast.
Robert Winter Tilney and Eric Gordon Tilney, two brother who where privates that survived the war. There father ran a stationery shop on Ship Street, Brighton. This then passed down to Robert and to his children. This stationery shop is still in family hands and exist in West Worthing.
On Thursday September 10th 1pm – 4pm we are holding a Heritage Open Day at Fabrica Gallery(Holy Trinity church), me and some of the research volunteers will have a stall where we can share information and answer questions, so please stop by.
We have lots more information that we have found, we are just in the motion of digesting it all. You can keep a track on our progress here, where we will be posting updates, more in depth research into individual soldiers and information about our research team.
 I look forward to hearing from you and please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any information about one of our boys on the plaque. Throughout the project, our Volunteer Research Group will be looking into the history of each of The Boys on the Plaque. If you have some information about The Boys on the Plaque that you think might help the group, don’t hesitate to contact us on boysontheplaque@fabrica.org.uk or leave a public reply at the bottom of the page.

Join our free WWI Conversation Cafes this autumn!

cropped-img_1310Free CONVERSATION CAFÉS beginning on Wednesday 21st October at Fabrica gallery and other Brighton venues.
(Taking place on the second Wednesday of every month from 11th November) 2.30-4.30pm. 
We will be hosting a free series of  Twelve Conversation Café’s at Fabrica from October 2015, facilitated by Nicola Benge (Strike A Light), which will use the Holy Trinity church, Fabrica gallery, a WWI memorial plaque and the local area to look into participant histories.
You can book your free place by contacting:
Clare Hankinson, Project Manager – The Boys on the Plaque 
01273 778646 
There will be talks from Dr Chris Kempshall, project Coordinator of the WWI in East Sussex project, outings to the Rare Books Archiveand more including discussions will be led around themes inspired by The Boys on the Plaque, including life in Brighton & Hove during WWI, historical experiences of ordinary men and women, and life after the war. We will also consider wider themes about the church in the community, and Holy Trinity’s history with its bi-centennial in 2017. Participants will gain an in-depth knowledge of Holy Trinity as church and gallery over the project.
Information and copies of selected heritage materials found by our research group will be shared with older and younger people through our Conversation Cafe’s and Graffiti workshops, and intergenerational groups at our free Walking Tours,  Heritage Open Days events on Thursday 10th September 2015 and Thursday 8th September 2016 and Bi-Centennial celebration in 2017, increasing the reach and impact of our research.
Through this we aim to connect people with local places associated with WWI, through investigation of our locality, sharing our findings through Walking Tours of the area and events based at Fabrica (a Grade II* listed building).
Nicola Benge (Strike a Light) will work with members of University of the Third Age and other individuals to share stories, memories, family history and local history (using information generated by the Volunteer Researchers), and take part in object handling to establish a meaningful history of ordinary people’s lives in Brighton & Hove.
These will be recorded for posterity, inform the project as a whole and will help to build a long-lasting relationship between the participants and Fabrica.
Academics, historians and researchers will be incorporated into our activities, their research and skills enabling a high quality learning experience for volunteers and participants, and significantly enriching our public programme.

  • Strike A Light: A local voluntary arts and heritage organisation using people’s life stories and memories to transform public and private spaces, specialising in intergenerational projects and working with people in the third age.
  • Brighton and Hove Library Services: Jubilee and Hove Libraries: Lucy Castle and Kate Regester – Community Engagement Managers www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/libraries.org
  • University of the Third Age (U3A) Local History Group: A learning co-operative of people no longer in full time employment. With over 450 members and educational, creative and social. Alan Cooke – Chairman of Brighton and Hove U3A and Coordinator of U3A Local History Group. www.brightonandhoveu3a.org.uk

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Free events this autumn!

Strike a Light in partnership with Fabrica gallery in Brighton are hosting two free events as part of Heritage Open Days this September.  These events are part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.v0_largeDetails for booking these free events here:
Fabrica –The Boys on the Plaque
40 Duke Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AG
Fabrica is a contemporary art gallery housed in the former Holy Trinity Church in Brighton, with a mission to increase access to contemporary visual art to as broad an audience as possible. The Boys on the Plaque is a new Heritage Lottery Funded project that is inspired by WWI soldiers commemorated within the church, and seeks to reveal the histories of local people in Brighton & Hove. https://boysontheplaque.wordpress.com/
During this special drop-in event, Fabrica will open it’s doors to the public for an afternoon of stimulating and engaging activities and exhibits to inspire new ways of considering our communities experience of the war.
This free event will include creative workshops, heritage activities and screenings to explore personal memories relating to the war and the stories we were left with. Guest speakers will include researcher and oral historian for ‘War Stories: Voices of the First World War’ Jo Palache, and Dr Chris Kempshall, Project Officer – First World War in East Sussex. 
Visitors are invited to bring their own stories and keepsakes to share with volunteers and staff and contribute to our research project, which seeks to uncover the history of each of The Boys on the Plaque, as well as discovering the wider story of Brighton & Hove during WWI.
A free afternoon tea, music and a warm welcome to people of all ages will be provided!

To attend this free event, you can book here:  http://botphod.eventbrite.com

Opening Times

Thursday 10 September: 1300-1600

Access: Wheelchair ramp built into entrance. Guide dogs welcome. Accessible toilets on site. Accessible parking space (1) in front of building.

Additional information: The Boys on the Plaque event is a free drop in activity and all are welcome even if only for 10 minutes. Free refreshments will be available at the event.
This event will also form the jumping off point for a series of monthly Free activities called Conversation Cafes which will look at aspects and reminiscences about the First World War including talks and trips to the Keep and the Rare Books Archive in Brighton.
Clare Hankinson, Project Manager – The Boys on the Plaque Fabrica 01273 778646 clare.hankinson@fabrica.org.uk

WWI Walking Tour Brighton with historian Dr Geoffrey Mead

Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton, East Sussex, Bn1 1AG

Walking Tour – Friday 11th Sept 2015, 6pm
The Lanes (Meeting at Fabrica gallery)
Free but donations welcome
Led by local historian Dr Geoffrey Mead, this will be a unique, one-off Walking Tour of Brighton’s historic Lanes, exploring the history and changing social and architectural landscape of this area of the city in relation to the period of time around WWI.
Inspired by a selection of stories from local soldiers commemorated on a memorial plaque at the Holy Trinity Church, the tour will begin at Fabrica art gallery. This tour uses the WWI heritage project The Boys on the Plaque as a starting point (https://strikealight.org/projects/the-boys-on-the-plaque/)
The tour will last 60-90 minutes and will take place on the streets of Brighton – sensible shoes and attire recommended.

Booking required in advance: http://botpwalkingtour.eventbrite.com

Event not suitable for children under the age of 12.

Opening Times

  • Friday 11 September: 1800-1930

Booking Details

Pre-booking: Required
Booking Contact: Clare Hankinson
Call: 01273 778646
Email: clare.hankinson@fabrica.org.uk
Go to: http://botpwalkingtour.eventbrite.com
Booking opens: 15 July 2015 09:00
Booking closes: 11 September 2015 18:00


Wheelchair ramp built into entrance. Guide dogs welcome. Accessible toilets on site. Accessible parking space (1) in front of building. This a walking tour so the tour will visit sites around the Lanes part of Brighton.

Additional information

Max 20 people per tour/session. This walking tour may last 60 – or 90 minutes depending on the size of the group on the tour.


The event takes place from the start point of Fabrica gallery which is a large contemporary visual gallery in a 19th century converted church in central Brighton opposite Browns Restaurant. It is ten minutes walk from Brighton seafront. Public Transport Directions: Brighton Railway Station is approximately 15-20 minutes walk. Local buses stop within walking distance. http://www.visitbrighton.com/culture/fabrica-p384651#location



Organised by

Fabrica/Strike a Light

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