Welcome to the Community Heritage Access Centre.
Looking for history in South Somerset?
Then look no further than the Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC)!
Located on the outskirts of the historic market town of Yeovil, within South Somerset District Council's Lufton depot, the Community Heritage Access Centre cares for an outstanding and diverse collection relating to the history and heritage South Somerset.
The collection showcases the local history in all its forms including archaeology, the history of the gloving and manufacturing trades, an extensive photography archive and even a firearms collection of international importance.
Explore our collection on line or
to arrange a tour.
We are open by appointment 9am - 5pm Wednesday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). Appointments are also available on Mondays and Tuesdays and in the evenings, please contact staff for details.
This is a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to remember the First World War in South Somerset. On this page you will find items that have been donated to CHAC concerning the war and also progress on the project.
Twenty one thousand booklets containing photographs of South Somerset in the First World War have been produced and distributed to each school child in South Somerset early in September.
An exhibition of items from the First World War is currently on d
at the Town House, Union Street, Yeovil.
A series of lectures on the First World War have been held
on life in South Somerset at various locations in Yeovil.
A display produced by the Imperial War Museum was
in the old Whittards Shop (next to Costa Coffee) in the Quedam Shopping Centre from October until the end of November.
This is part of a recent large donation, it is Wallie Adams' identification tag. His name is on Yeovil's War Memorial and he was only 17 when he died. He went down on H.M.S. Hampshire off the Orkney Islands along with Lord Kitchener, who was on the famous 'Your Country Needs You' posters. This and other photographs and objects associated with Wallie were donated to CHAC at the end of 2013.
Another recent donation, a photograph of Ernest 'Dyke' Luffman who died shortly after the war ended on 4th December 1918 in Alexandria Egypt. His name is on Yeovil's war memorial.
C E Webb is on the right of this photograph, he lived in Yeovil until his death. We knew nothing else about this man until af
ter issuing a press release about this photograph, two people came forward who actually knew him.
We now know his first name was Cecil and he was in the Army Medical Corps during the war. He worked as a stretcher bearer and was captured by the Germans. After the war he worked in West's Department Store in Yeovil (the present site of Boots) and carried round with him a tin containing a piece of black German bread.
We are very excited to have received the above photograph. It was taken in September 1914 at Yeovil's Penn Mill station of soldiers off to war. Alec Bird is on the bottom right, sitting cross legged, holding a stick upright. He survived the war.
Find out which mystery object we have dug out of our archives...
Let us help you trace your family history in South Somerset.
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Walking Down Memory Lane