YOUNG air cadets from Darlington will learn about the impact of the First World War thanks to £6,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The money, which has been awarded to 405 (Darlington) Squadron Air Training Corps through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, will enable the group to explore the memories and heritage of local people who lived through the 1914 to 1918 conflict.

They will also embark on a five-day visit to the battlefields of France and Belgium this month.

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The project will help cadets to collect photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes to help them understand the impact of the First World War better.

They will also seek to discover family stories passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like.

Flight Lieutenant Rachel Mason, commanding officer of 405 Squadron, based at the Army Reserve centre in Neasham Road, said: “We are thrilled and grateful to receive the support of HLF, which has helped us encourage cadets to be involved in such a thought-provoking experience.

"On their return, the cadets plan to share their discoveries with local people, to help us understand the enormity of what happened 100 years ago."

The head of the HLF in the North East, Ivor Crowther, said: “Our small grants programme is enabling even more communities to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help young people such as these to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”