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We want YOUR family's war stories

Crowds gathered for VE Day at Picadilly Circus in London
Have you got a war story about your family to tell?
Last updated: 06 May 2005 1825 BST
lineAs Gloucestershire celebrates the VE anniversary weekend find out why the BBC wants YOUR family's war stories...
(May 2005)
See Also

BBC People's War

Roundup of local VE Day events

Going Out Index

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Kemble Airfield

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BBC Gloucestershire is playing its part in one of Britain's biggest-ever wartime history projects - but we need your help.

If you lived through the Second World War, or you have family stories and pictures of relatives who did, those memories are an important part of our history.

Man reporting on VE Day

And the BBC wants to preserve them for posterity so future generations know what wartime was life in every walk of life.

The People's War is an amazing online BBC archive featuring wartime experiences from the frontline to the Home Front in the words and pictures of those who were there.
From air raids to rationing, doodlebugs to Digging for Victory, and of course the joyful celebrations that marked VE Day, the BBC is marking the 60th anniversary of the end of Second World War with a campaign to gather as many firsthand testimonies, family memories and wartime photos as possible for posterity from across the UK.

The BBC has launched this hugely-ambitious storygathering project so that future generations will understand what wartime was like in every walk of life - from frontline to Home Front. But it can't be done without YOUR help.

That's why a BBC Gloucestershire team will be at the Victory in Europe celebration event at Kemble Airfield, near Cirencester on Saturday to publicise the People's War project and hear stories from those at the concert who remember the wartime era.

VE Day crowds

We're also hoping to recruit lots of volunteers to help us collect war memories from people across the county who lived through the Second World War.

Even if you're not going to Kemble, you can still help the BBC People's War project right up until the end of 2005:
• by sharing your own or your family's war memories
• by becoming a volunteer story-collector

SHARING YOUR OWN AND OTHERS' STORIES

You can do this by:

• Adding your story and pictures direct to the People's War website. It’s very simple - just go to www.bbc.co.uk/ww2 and follow the on-screen instructions.

• Taking written accounts (handwritten or typed) and photographs to the BBC Learning Centre at 71-73 Eastgate Street, Gloucester. This is a People's War Associate Centre where trained staff can show anyone who is not confident with computers how to add their story and pictures to the People's War website - or do it for them. Call 01452 418180 for details.

VE Day crowds

At the BBC Learning Centre you can also see the People's War exhibition of wartime stories and pictures we have already collected from across Gloucestershire. Click here for more about our People's War Day

JOIN OUR PEOPLE'S WAR VOLUNTEER ARMY

The BBC Gloucestershire/CSV Action Desk at BBC Radio Gloucestershire is organising story-gathering sessions where anyone who has difficulty writing their war memories down can share their recollections with a volunteer story collector.

Please get in touch if:

• you can help with getting a group of elderly people together to share their war memories
• you are IT-literate (familiar with word processing and internet) and willing to help collect and input contributor's stories to the People’s War website

For more information:

call the CSV/BBC Radio Gloucestershire Action Desk on 01452 331133 or email martin.evans.01@bbc.co.uk

Click here for more about becoming a volunteer storycollector - and why it's important to preserve wartime memories

LOTTERY CASH AIDS WW2 CELEBRATIONS

In a scheme that's separate but related to the BBC People's War project called Home Front Recall, there is national lottery funding - grants of between £500 and £20,000 - available to groups in Gloucestershire who want to celebrate the contribution their community made to the war effort.

People celebrate VE Day

BBC Gloucestershire is interested in linking up with groups which applied for funding from Home Front Recall, so the stories and reminiscences and mementoes they uncover and celebrate are also featured in the People's War project.

Call Martin Evans on 01452 331133 or email martin.evans.01@bbc.co.uk to find out more.

The community department of FE college Gloscat has already received Home Front funding and is joining forces with BBC Gloucestershire to organise wartime storygathering activities throughout summer 2005 in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds.

Organisers need suitable venues to host these sessions, from community centres to village halls to local pubs. Please contact John Womersley on 01242 677852 or email gloscathomefront@tiscali.co.uk if you can help.

Financed by the Big Lottery Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the scheme provides small grants to fund activities across the UK to commemorate the part played by those on the Home Front during the war years - among them fire fighters, auxiliary services, dock workers, seamen, nurses - and people in many other roles including Britain's code-breakers.

VE Day crowds

The scheme also provides funding for veterans who wish to organise or take part in reunions or commemorative events in the UK.

The scheme will fund street parties, services, reunions, parades, and other community activities that allow all generations to commemorate and remember the contribution that the people of Britain made in the Second World War.

For an application pack call 08457 458458 - further information is available from the Big Lottery Fund.

The closing date for applications is May 31st 2005 and activities must take place before the end of the year.

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If you would like to comment on this story get in touch at gloucestershire@bbc.co.uk or have your say on our messageboard

 
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