SILCHESTER has received a bumper lottery grant to fund research into what life was like in the village at the outbreak of the First World War.

Silchester has been awarded £10,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to look in-depth at the businesses, churches, houses and society in August 1914.

Parish council chairman Councillor Steve Spillane said: “Ironically, probably more is known and documented of the Roman history of Silchester than is known of Edwardian era leading up to the outbreak of war.

“With the centenary of WW1, this is probably the last chance we will get to capture some of this information before it is lost forever.”

The village’s war memorial shows the names of the 12 men from the parish who have died in battle – six of them during the First World War.

This grant will go towards researching their stories, as well as the stories of other residents and the village itself at the time.

All information collated will be made accessible online, in print and potentially in audio form.

A researcher is to be appointed for between four and six months, and the parish council also wants to hear from anyone with a connection to Silchester who could contribute photographs, documents, maps, stories or anecdotes.

For more information, call Simon Mahaffey on 07769 684283 or email smahaffey@