Wiltshire at War: Community Stories
Our Heritage Lottery Funded project to uncover and share stories of the First World War Home Front in Wiltshire is approaching two exciting milestones early in 2015.
At the end of January our website will be going live. This will be a home for all the stories that have been gathered so far – in sounds, words and pictures. If your family or community have your own stories that you would like to include you will be able to do this straight through the website. Over time we hope this will become a significant record of the impact of the war across the county.
At the end of February the first exhibition based on the stories will be on display at the Springfield Community Campus in Corsham. This exhibition will focus on the role Wiltshire played in providing a home and training ground for the military and how this affected the lives of ordinary people. Look out for full details of the exhibition over the next few weeks. After Corsham the exhibition will be setting off on a tour of community venues whilst we start work on preparing further displays looking at different ways the First World War affected Wiltshire.
Most of the stories we are gathering are about Wiltshire residents, but during the war many thousands of people also arrived here from all over the country and the wider British Empire. One such story is that of Marjorie Peers, a dressmaker from Birmingham who found herself on Salisbury Plain stitching sails or wings for aeroplanes. This photograph shows Marjorie and a friend at Stonehenge airfield. Thanks to Birmingham Archives we will be including Marjorie’s experiences of her time in Wiltshire in our project, revealing both the hard work and also the social side of life on Salisbury Plain 100 years ago.
Tim Burge, Museums Officer, December 2014