Created by Elvaston Communities Group our website shows an insight into the First World War. And it commemorates the effect it would have had on the inhabitants of the Elvaston Castle Estate, the surrounding communities of Elvaston, Ambaston, Thulston & Boulton Moor and indeed the nation.

We identify the local soldiers that were involved and particularly follow the life & times of one local Elvaston lad Charley Garrett. To some degree this is the story of Charley Garrett's War in words & pictures.

Following a suggestion that the Group should put on an exhibition, a public meeting was held in November 2013. The subject, style and format of the exhibition was then agreed and costed and in April 2014 a bid for a grant to cover the cost of staging the exhibition was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund. This was agreed in July 2014 and the research work began. A project leader was appointed and members of the committee took individual responsibility for different areas of the exhibition.

The only accurate information available was the story of Charley Garratt who had grown up and worked on the Estate and then volunteered for service in the Derbyshire Yeomanry. His story was set down in a book called Charley’s Tale and formed the backbone of the exhibition. In order to illustrate his life and war, and after discussion as to content and style, local artist Di Sheppherd completed a series of vibrant paintings.

The exhibition opened on 16 August 2015 with a service in the church which was attended by Lord and Lady Harrington and Viscount Petersham. The ceremony included readings, speeches, actors and the playing of the Last Post and then Reveille. A flypast by two aeroplanes completed the opening ceremony.

The exhibition was open to the public for seven days and was stewarded by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who were available to answer questions.

This website hopefully draws everything together and provides an interesting, educational and permenant resource for students studying the First World War or indeed people undertaking any Family History research.

The paintings and all other display panels can be seen by navigating around the various pages of the website and photographs can be seen by clicking on the Displays tab in the menu. 

Most of the documents, displays photographs and paintings are available to download so have been generated in as high a resolution as is practical. The downside of this is that loading times and screen displays can be quite slow if you are viewing on older or slower processors. You are free to use them in a non commercial way for personal use under a Creative Commons licence.