This is a little advice of mine Which I am giving to thee and thine When in the paper you are reading Of the war which is now proceeding Think of those who are fighting for you And keeping your freedom for you too Why have not you some E Weil’s illustration to a poem by Frank Lewis, Us Cooms From Zoomerzet grandfather would not allow German to be spoken in the house.
LJS has managed to track down a descendant of one of the contributors in South Africa. It is engaging with older congregants to ascertain if any are related to the wartime writers.
For the moment, the intention is for the volumes to remain in the synagogue archive. “We have other very precious things among it. But it is also very significant for us as it gives an early glimpse of our 106-year history.”
Dr Tim Powell, senior adviser to the National Archives, says the volu me s “s p l e n - didly” showcase the work of the LJS pupils while affording “a sense of popular perceptions of and reactions to the war among a section of the youth of London.
“T he L i b e r a l Jewish Synagogue is to be commended for conserving these volumes and seeking to make them accessible to a wider, contemporary audience.”
For the We Were There Too site, the volumes have been digitised with magnification option and page-turning software.
In general, the project team reports huge interest in the venture from community members, with roadshows around the capital resulting in a rich seam of memorabilia about Jewish servicemen. “We have become the
of the Jewish community,” Mr Fell says. “People come to us with bags full of documents.
“We’re uploading 200 personal records and hope to have 500 up by summer. Families like it because it is professionally presented and saved.”
The material is also becoming an integral part of welfare charities’ reminiscence work with elderly clients.
There have been many fascinating finds. “Through contact with Tower Hamlets Library, we have unearthed information on tribunals for exemption from service. The requests were often submitted by women from large religious families on behalf of their husbands —andwereusually declined.”
Mr F e l l a l s o recounts being contacted by a man living on kibbutzwhosehobby is collecting Haggadot. “He claims to have the only remaining copy of the Haggadah produced for Fort William — the major military base in Calcutta — for Jewish servicemen in the British Forces in Punjab in 1917.” byAliceEngelbert To access the LJS material, go to www. jewsfww.london and click on The First World War through the eyes of London’s Jewish children. If you have a story you would like to preserve on the site, email email@example.com