Postcards tribute to city’s fallen soldiers

Postcards to Preston project
Postcards to Preston project
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Families across Preston have been sent postcards to commemorate soldiers who lived in their homes more than 100 years ago.

Almost 2,000 of the pieces of art were sent to the last known addresses of men who died in the First World War, who are remembered on the Harris Roll of Honour.

Postcards to Preston project. Artist Laura Jamieson

Postcards to Preston project. Artist Laura Jamieson

Now householders are being asked to write back to the artist, to see what the same community looks like today.

Lead artist Laura Jamieson was inspired by a collection of forms at the Harris Museum, which were filled in by people after the war to request their loved ones names be memorialised on the city’s Roll of Honour.

She said: “I sent letters to all the houses that still exist.

“I made a postcard for every man on that Roll of Honour.

“The document shows what Preston was like 100 years ago.

“I was hoping to contact people with this secret history and see what Preston looks like now, 100 years later.

“There’s an online form, or I would really like them to send me something back – whether a postcard or a drawing that represents the people that live there now, do they feel any connection to the history, did they know about the history?”

Laura said she had been struck by how the war had touched every street in Preston, and changed communities for ever.

She said: “The Roll of Honour documents the people who lived in Preston during 1914-18 and were part of an accidental community who were joined together only by the awful reality of losing someone they loved.

“I’m interested in what that same community in Preston looks like now, people joined together by the secret history of the houses that they live in.”

There will be an exhibition about the project at the Harris Museum from April 8 until July 16.

Limited edition books are being produced for all those residents that receive an artwork through the post and respond to the work.

The work has been funded by Arts Council England and Preston City Council.