Over the last 18 months a small but dedicated team has been researching various archives to identify and capture as much historical information as possible regarding the role of Birkenhead YMCA in the community during World War One.

The research has captured stories about the YMCA and the incredible charitable work undertaken by the whole community to help the wounded soldiers and support the soldiers returning on leave including the many local YMCA canteens it ran.

The research team has spent many hours at the Wirral Archive as well as the YMCA Central Repository in Birmingham. They have taken many photographs and these have been grouped into files as listed below.

Please note due to the fragile condition of the newspapers. The researchers were unable to use specialist scanning equipment to reproduce all the YMCA related documentation and had to use digital cameras for photographing the relevant newspaper articles.


We must thank the help given by the Wirral Archive (William Meredith), Birkenhead Central Library and Birmingham University Archives and Manuscript Collection as well as our own Birkenhead-based contributors Jo McAlpine and Fred Eccleston (Vintage Radio).

We would like to particularly acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Fred Eccleston, for his painstaking research through old copies of Birkenhead Newspaper to catalogue and produce a complete archive of documents relating to the work of Birkenhead YMCA between 1914- 1918.

And finally, after the research had been completed, we would like to congratulate Kevin Hogan, Sean Watson and the clients of the YMCA for their fantastic production of the radio play `Peace and War`. The play was written and performed by Birkenhead YMCA client`s and includes various sounds of the period including music composed by Sean Watson.

This research project was made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Image Archive