The Unremembered

The Unremembered

Big Ideas Community Interest Company is working with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on a new community engagement programme The Unremembered, commemorating the bravery and sacrifice of the Labour Corps throughout World War One. We invite community groups to get involved by holding their own Unremembered event or join the conversation online.

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About the Labour Corps

Image: Collection of John Sheen author of histories of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light Infantry.

The Labour Corps supplied the army with weapons and ammunition, food and fodder, water and fuel.  They built and maintained roads and railways. They were essential to the war effort.

British and Allied Forces struggled to cope with the demand for manpower after the huge losses of men during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. From January 1917,  manpower was drawn from the UK, China, India, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, the Caribbean and many other places within the British Empire.

Tens of thousands travelled thousands of miles to defend freedom, although they rarely saw service in the frontline, many died or were seriously injured. Today their contributions and sacrifice are all but forgotten. They are The Unremembered.

Throughout 2017, the Big Ideas team is delivering an inclusive and thought-provoking programme to invite communities to commemorate the brave sacrifices of the Labour Corps and their heroic contribution to the war effort.

With funding and support from the DCLG, Big Ideas will deliver a series of initiatives each month to remember courage and contribution of Labour Corps from across the world, presenting a forgotten history that can be understood and responded to by communities.

How you can get involved in The Unremembered

Request funding for your Unremembered project

Join in with your local community and organise an activity to commemorate the efforts of the Labour Corps. Sing or perform a Labour Corps song, screen a film or bring your community together with a narrated reading of Labour Corps stories through the archive scripts. We have plenty of ideas for you in our resource pack.

Big Ideas Company is offering small-scale funding for local communities in England to join in with The Unremembered project. You can apply for small-scale funding to hold your own Unremembered event from 1 April. Activities could include inviting a speaker, visiting a Labour Corps grave or holding a performance. Get inspired by suggestions in our free resource pack, and keep up to date on funding by:

Free resource pack for local communities and schools

Email us to receive our free resource pack for communities and schools. In this creative, informative and vibrant resource there are opportunities to learn about the history of the different Labour Corps, guidance on how to find local stories and participate in activities to join in with The Unremembered project.

Each month we are releasing additional resources about Labour Corps from different countries around the world, including worksheets and archive scripts.

Visit a Labour Corps grave in the UK

There are a number of ways you can get involved in the project. We are calling on communities to commemorate the Labour Corps by visiting and honouring 1000 Labour Corps graves and memorials throughout 2017.  Information on how to locate Labour Corps graves in your area along with suggestions for activities when visiting cemeteries is available in our free Unremembered database. To access this please email

Join The Unremembered campaign

Share your stories with us on social media using #Unremembered and stay up-to-date with the latest information on the project by signing up to our newsletter.

Liking Big Ideas Company on Facebook

Joining The Unremembered Facebook group

Following Big Ideas Company on Twitter

Emailing us at

Watch our trailer from the launch of the project:

Big Ideas Community Interest Company works with Big Ideas Company to develop and deliver public engagement projects on a not-for-profit basis. With thanks to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for funding The Unremembered project.

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Posted on

February 11, 2017