I am searching through the High Peak's local museums, libraries and archives for items which shows the effect of war on the community, and asking local people to get in touch and share their stories. I am also contacting community groups to to find out what plans and support needs they may have to enable them to commemorate wartime events in High Peak. 2014 sees the centenary of the start of World War One on 28 July 1914, whilst 8 May 1945 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two.
I recently spent some volunteer time in Buxton Museum searching through their boxes of ephemera, on the hunt for items relating to World War One and the Second World War. Some of the finds were fascinating, and will be featured in due course on the 'Derbyshire Lives Through World Wars' blog. I was particularly moved by a number of silk embroidered World War One postcards which had been sent by troops in France and Belgium to their families in Derbyshire. I returned home and decided to purchase some myself through online auctions. Yesterday I received the first of these postcards, 'United We Stand' and here it is:
The message on the back says 'To Mother from your loving son Ted'. Unfortunately the seller does not have any information on 'Ted'.
I was curious about the actual making of these postcards, and information on this can be viewed on several websites, including this one:
I aim to share more finds on this blog during the rest of my time on this project, which ends in late March. I hope to hear about the effects of war on the home front in the High Peak area, as well as the stories of local troops: stories and memorabilia on farming and food, family life, local war industries, the Land Army, church activities, hospitals, air raids, prisoners of war, evacuees and refugees, women and fund raising, and the local Home Guard.
YOu can find out more at the following Derbyshire website: http://derbyshirelives.wordpress.com/stories/
POST SCRIPT: My volunteer work on this project ended in late March 2013 as the information gathered has been sent to Derbyshire County Council.
However, I am still looking for stories of wartime evacuees in Derbyshire. Please contact me through the comments box at the foot of this blog. Thank you. (at July 2013)
Note: ** I have received requests for information about my book 'Guernsey Evacuees: The Forgotten Evacuees of the Second World War' - you can read part of the book free here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AAL5TNC/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_fRe5qb1CY4PPE