the city's black and minority ethnic groups are being urged to share their
memories of the Second World War to help today's schoolchildren appreciate
the role people from the Commonwealth and other countries played in the
War: Our World is part of an ambitious BBC project to create the largest-ever
online archive of personal memories of the Second World War.
message 'If you lived through the war, your memories are an important
part of history' the aim is to show future generations what wartime life
was like in every walk of life, from front-line to Home Front.
War: Our World has been launched because The Peoples War website
has so far recorded little about the contribution to the war effort by,
and experiences of, people of the Commonwealth and other nations whose
descendants now live in the UK.
has been chosen because of the good work that has already been done in
recording the city's multicultural roots by ethnic services librarian
The BBC Learning
Centre in Eastgate Street will co-ordinate the Peoples War
Our World campaign, which hopes to involve city schools and community
groups in collecting and recording stories. Learning
Centre manager Clare Parrack said:
Peoples War is used as an educational resource in schools so the
BBC wants all children who use the website, wherever their family originated,
to be able to find out about the experiences of elders from their own
communities and backgrounds.
women from the Caribbean, South-east Asia, other parts of the Commonwealth
and elsewhere made a huge contribution to the war effort but their stories
are not as well known as those who were living here when war broke out.
a general invitation to everyone in Gloucestershire who lived through
the war to share their experiences we are making a special appeal for
memories and mementoes from Gloucester people whose families came to Britain
from abroad, whether before or during the war or afterwards
an exciting and ambitious project. We will be gathering stories in audio,
video and written form and want to include photographs and memorabilia
to illustrate them.
we can collect enough material to create an educational pack for local
schools and for an exhibition to coincide with this summer's commemorative
events about the end of the Second World War."
stories of Gloucestershire
has already made a head start in recording the history of its Asian, Chinese
and African-Caribbean communities through the Untold Stories books put
together by Nasreen Akhtar.
those stories record war experiences. Stan Boreland, Claude Correia and
Vivian Blake came to Britain from the Caribbean to join the RAF.
Our Untold Stories: Claude
Correia and Vivian
born near Lahore in what is now Pakistan, came to England in the 1930s
and lived in the Midlands during the war before settling in Gloucestershire
later in life. There were no Indian families living in Birmingham at the
time, it was men only until the 1950s and 1960s, but he said these were
his best years in England with no colour bar and everyone pulling together.
Yow Soo, from Cheltenham, was born in Birkenhead where his father ran
a Chinese laundry. The family home was destroyed in an air raid while
Frank and his parents were taking refuge in the local shelter - the cellar
of the Birkenhead brewery
Wing Yow Soo
is a great opportunity to build on the success of Untold Stories and put
together a wider picture of the experiences of elders from the Gloucester's
black and minority ethnic families. Clare Parrack added:
Untold Stories was one reason why Gloucester was picked for the project
and I am sure there are more fascinating stories waiting to be told.
we would love to be able to confirm is a persistent local rumour that
Emperor Haile Selassie, now worshipped by Rastafarians, visited Gloucester
when he spent time in the West Country while in exile from Ethopia at
the beginning of the war. He is said to have watched cinema newsreels
at what is now the Mecca bingo hall in Eastgate Street."
interested in taking part in People's War - Our World can find out more
by visiting the BBC Learning Centre at 71 Eastgate Street,
or contacting Clare Parrack on 01452 305378 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
War: the Commonwealth contribution
War workshops at the BBC Learning Centre
to the BBC Learning Centre homepage