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Protecting our World War One heritage

Our surviving World War One heritage takes many forms. Some memorials and monuments have suffered wear and tear over time, through lack of care and attention or heritage crime.

Nearly every town and village has a war memorial or graves, sometimes a public sculpture or specially-commissioned building. Other traces of the war might be humps and bumps in fields or woodland - the remains of camps and practice trenches perhaps.

Sometimes, sadly, they have simply been overlooked, with owners and local communities unaware of their significance. The first step towards understanding, preservation and protection is by recording our World War One heritage.

Some have been the object of heritage crime through vandalism or metal theft. English Heritage works with the police, Crown Prosecution Service, local authorities, and local communities to better understand and tackle heritage crime.

Special recording projects and grant schemes are available for monuments that are particularly vulnerable, such as war memorials.

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA)aims to heighten public appreciation of Britain's public sculpture, and to contribute to its preservation, protection and promotion.  The association's Save our Sculpture Project identifies sculptures at risk and alerts local authorities, private owners, campaign groups and the general public to the urgent need for action.

Recording our World War One heritage

A good record of our World War One heritage is essential if we are to understand and preserve it for future generations.

Several groups and organizations, local and national, are working to record the physical remains and human histories associated with World War One.

The Council for British Archaeology's Home Front Legacy Projecthas been set up to support community groups researching local places associated with the World War One.

You can also record local information through the Dorset Historic Environment Record.

Some organizations and projects focus on the recording and preservation of particular types of monument such as war memorials.

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