Colehill-based State of Play Arts and Wimborne’s Priest’s House Museum are looking for documentary material relating to soldiers, naval officers or aircraft personnel who left East Dorset to fight in World War One and returned home alive, possibly wounded.
We are looking for handed-down memories and stories about how families dealt with the aftermath of the war. These may be told through artefacts – medals, photographs, diaries, newspaper articles, letters – as well as personal oral history testimonies.
The resulting material may be used to form part of a new play written and performed by State of Play later this year, the final part of a commission by Priest’s House Museum, as part of its commemoration of the Great War.
Dorset descendants who have already shared documentary materials for previous productions, found it a rewarding experience – Alan Wareham, descendant of Hubert Wareham, who died in the First World War, said: “The play ‘The Gathering’ has really brought my Great Uncle Hubert’s story to life and it recognises and honours the great sacrifice that he and others made”.
The first production: Tommy’s Sisters (a film, 2016), focuses on four local women of different class whose lives were changed by the war and The Gathering (Spring 2016), focuses on two East Dorset soldiers, Hubert Wareham and William Cutler, who lost their lives fighting, and the impact on people left behind. The previous productions have been described by audiences as “very poignant and moving” as well as “ beautifully written and acted”.
Both productions are being presented as part of Wimborne History Festival on July 21.
Please contact us if you have stories, memories or artefacts that shed light on family lives in East Dorset in 1918, following the end of the war.
State of Play: Tony.firstname.lastname@example.org; 01202 882740 or 07584 163 876