Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Andrew Gibson, said: “More and more of us are becoming inspired to explore our family trees thanks to TV programmes like the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Now, there’s an opportunity for country park visitors to take a step back in time and explore the possible links their own family may have had to this historic site.
“Royal Victoria Country Park has a long-standing, special military connection - with soldiers first being treated at its hospital from 1863, through to the Boer War and across both World Wars. This workshop will enable anyone interested in their family heritage to learn how to build connections between what happened at Netley and their ancestors. Visitors can also examine the burial records for Netley Military Cemetery and learn about casualties from the Battle of the Somme who are buried there.”
Next month, Royal Victoria Country Park will also be hosting an Archaeology Day, in conjunction with archaeology students from the University of Winchester, who will analyse the ground where the former Military Hospital stood.
Visitors can see the archaeologists at work, have their questions answered and try out some surveying first hand. The Archaeology Day takes place on Saturday 8 April from 10.30am to 3.30pm in the Empire Room.
Councillor Gibson added: “We really value the work that volunteers do across our country parks and we are keen to hear from people of all ages who would like to help support the Archaeology Day as volunteers, as well as for future events.”
Volunteer tasks will include:
• Meeting and greeting visitors, directing them to activities
• Setting up and clearing down the event, preparing signage and activities
• Taking a record of how many people take part, and handing out feedback questionnaires.
For more details on volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 023 9224 4064.