In a special supplement in today's The Northern Echo, commissioned by Durham County Council, DLI Trustees and Durham University, we tell the story of the Durham Light Infantry.

In this report Cllr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, James Ramsbotham, Chair of the Trustees of the DLI Collection, and Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor, University of Durham​, highlight the "tireless" work being undertaken to tell the story of the regiment

TENS of thousands of people have discovered the story of the Durham Light Infantry in the past year through a programme of special exhibitions and events.

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The Trustees of the Former Durham Light Infantry, Durham County Council and Durham University continue to work tirelessly with a wide network of DLI Association members and volunteers to develop a positive way to bring the regiment’s incredible story to a greater audience.

Our efforts in 2016 included moving the Collection to a new, more suitable base in the DLI Research and Study Centre at Sevenhills, in Spennymoor, and launching the extensive Durham Remembers programme.

In the words of the DLI Trustees’ Colonel Anthony George, those efforts have been “Herculean”.

What we have achieved is seen as leading the way at a time of great uncertainty for many local and military museums, and it has been backed by both the Arts Council and the Army Museums Ogilby Trust.

Yet, we cannot rest on our laurels and must strive to ensure that people continue to discover the extraordinary bravery, service and sacrifice of County Durham’s men, women and families.

We now have a more sustainable approach to preserving and providing access to this important part of our collective heritage, focusing resources on bringing the collection to people in new, more engaging ways.

In 2017, we will build on that strong foundation to bring the story of the Durham soldier to more and more people.

The new, free exhibition at the DLI Collection Gallery – Courage, Comrades, Community – at Palace Green Library will bring the regiment’s 259-year history to the heart of Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, with some items on display for the first time.

From there, visitors can also take in the DLI chapel and garden at the cathedral, visit the DLI memorial in the Market Place, or research the DLI archives, which remain – as they have done since 1998 – in the care of Durham County Record Office.

The DLI Research and Study Centre will support wider education sessions with items from the collection taken out into the community to thousands of schoolchildren and local groups.

And the Collection will also continue to support major attractions like Locomotion – The National Railway Museum at Shildon, where objects are being loaned to show how intrinsic and intertwined the regiment was in every aspect of county life.

We remain very aware of the importance of the DLI to the history and the people of the county and beyond, and we are committed to making sure the collection has a secure future that provides a fitting tribute to those who served.