In this guest Blog for Women’s History Month, Dr Julie Moore from the University of Hertfordshire and the AHRC’s WW1 Engagement Centre ‘Everyday Lives in War‘, talks about the ways in which community researchers are engaging with some of the less well-known stories of women’s everyday experiences during the First World War, and calls for community researchers to put themselves on the record. Continue reading Finding the ‘women like us’ in the First World War
The launch of World War One at Home has seen a great deal of activity across the country this week. Over 220 stories were launched – the first drop of what will be a permanent record of 1400 places and their WW1 story. Thirty-eight BBC English teams, the three Nations and Cymru all delivered stories with some wonderful reaction from the audience (see activity on #WW1AtHome).
AHRC academics have been in the forefront of promotional activities with local, regional and national broadcasts, and on Thursday it was my turn to join in and offer the AHRC perspective. It began at BBC Radio Bristol, my own local station. Local or not, in the fast-paced world of live radio, I’m not sure the interviewer had fully read the brief because he didn’t seem sure who I was (not the Mayor of Bristol anyway, who was on air before me). Nevertheless, I made it clear who I was and who I represented, and all was well.
This baptism of fire was the start of a long process. A succession of interviews followed, some live and some recorded, and I was able to emphasise the wonderful work our researchers have done across the UK, how they have – yes – checked facts, but also interpreted them and given valuable insights into context, connections between stories, national themes and so on.
Local radio stations particularly liked the references to local stories: Gloucestershire, to Ivor Gurney; Teesside to the bombardment of Hartlepool; Wiltshire, to the wonderful Rex Warneford story; and Surrey and Sussex, to the equally wonderful Brighton Pavilion story. (Click ‘see more’ below for each of these local highlights). The last also made a point of introducing me as a former student of Sussex University, emphasising the overarching message of the entire project – the importance of the local!
Two hours later I emerged from my booth and from what felt like a virtual tour of England, pleased that the AHRC and its work on the project had been mentioned on nearly a dozen local radio stations, from Cornwall to Teeside, and from Gloucestershire to Cambridgeshire.
Continue reading Promoting World War One at Home
BBC Newcastle, like other stations, has been sharing local stories each morning. One story which has caught the attention of many listeners is the history of women’s football in the North East. Blyth Spartans Ladies FC, like many other teams, was made up of women munition workers (like the ones in this blog’s header). They had been taught to play by navy lads on the beach and in two years they were never beaten. Their centre forward Bella Reay scored 133 goals in one season and went on to play for England.
In Lancashire, BBC Radio Lancashire invited local listeners to re-evaluate their view of ‘war horses’, often best known from the book by Michael Morpurgo (or the film and play based on that book).
Lathom Park was used for horse training throughout the war. It’s thought up to 300,000 animals could have passed through it in that time, on their way to the front.
And finally, the AHRC’s own Dr Philip Pothen (Head of Communications) himself appeared across the BBC. Philip was interviewed by local radio stations across the country, speaking about the AHRC’s involvement in the project, and how researchers would be working in those areas to highlight the local stories. More on this to come on this blog…