Primary school-children are visiting Chatsworth this week on the eve of the 100 year anniversary of Gallipoli to discover the impact of the First World War had on one of Britain's greatest country estates and its people.

Children from Pilsley and Curbar primary schools will be visiting on 22 and 23 April to hear the story of Eddy Hartington, the future 10th Duke, who fought in Gallipoli as part of the Derbyshire Yeomanry and wrote many letters home to his family describing the conditions.

Extract from Eddy's letter to his mother:

‘I cannot believe that the honour of all the nations in Europe is worth the suffering I have seen in these three days. One feels a perfect pig living in such comfort as we are here, although that is not much. All wheel traffic has come to a standstill, but charcoal rations and rum are being got up to the men on pack mules. The rum is all that keeps many of them going.’

The children will also take part in activities at Chatsworth's new outdoor educational centre, The Stickyard, to learn about the estate workers, such as gardener Sydney John Chandler, who enlisted in Sheffield in 1915 and became a Lance Corporal, and took part in the attack on Turkish trenches. On 19 August, he was ordered to attack an entrenched position 700 yards in front of their lines. He died the same day, and his body was never recovered. 

His and many other moving stories are featured in the Heritage Lottery Funded Legacies of War project, designed by the Devonshire Educational Trust as an outreach programme for secondary schools. Legacies of War explores the lasting impact of the First World War on the estate, uncovering little known stories, such as that of the Belgian family of refugees who lived at Chatsworth during the war; Lady Maud, who was very involved in welfare of the people on the estate and the convalescent officers who stayed on the estate at the suggestion of Duchess Evelyn who wrote to her husband in 1915 stating that ‘the house is being rather wasted and our menservants really have very little to do’. 

Chatsworth's education officer and project lead Kate Burt said: ‘We are excited to be working hands-on with local schools on the run up to the centenary and have the opportunity to also run our first outreach programme with a broad range of secondary schools.''

The Legacies of War outreach programme has been designed for Year 7 – 9 pupils. The educational team will visit schools with a resource pack - including some never seen before photographs of soldiers in Egypt, Palestine and Italy - created from the Chatsworth archives centred around the First World War to help bring the stories from the estate to life. They will introduce the story of Chatsworth, the Cavendish family and the First World War, and pupils will be set a task to use the materials provided to research the wider context of the war to create a presentation to deliver later in the year.

For more information or to book a visit, contact Kate Burt, HLF project lead, on kate.burt@chatsworth.org.

More information available here http://www.chatsworth.org/education/legacies-of-war-project/secondary-schools-outreach-programme

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Notes to editors:

1. Devonshire Educational Trust: (DET) was established in 2004 to enhance the educational experiences of children and young people visiting the Chatsworth Estate. Here, we are proud to be able to offer a diverse range of opportunities to learn about matters of historical, artistic and architectural interest as well as to find out more about the countryside and rural landscape. Through guided, self‐guided and specialist education packages and outreach activities the DET aims to provide quality education that reaches all b ackgrounds and abilities. The DET aims to be a leading charity providing education about the economic, historical, environmental, social and cultural contributions that landed estates make to our society.

2. Chatsworth House Trust: The Chatsworth House Trust is dedicated to the long-term preservation of Chatsworth House, the art collection, garden, woodlands and park for the long term benefit of the public. The charity promotes the study and appreciation of Chatsworth as a place of historic, architectural and artistic interest and of natural beauty, and encourages the use and enjoyment of Chatsworth by visitors for education and recreation. 

For further information or images please contact:

Liz Bee (lizb@redbrickcommunications.com)

Steve Houghton (steveh@redbrickcommunications.com)

Redbrick Communications, 68 St

James’s Street, Nottingham, NG1 6FJ

T: 0115 910 1500 www.redbrickcommunications.com

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