Search for Second World War memories

Their Finest Hour is aiming to preserve Second World War stories, photos and memorabilia.

Do you have any Second World War objects or stories to share? If so, pop along to Portishead Library on Monday 4 December between 10am and 3pm.

This event is part of a nationwide campaign organised by Their Finest Hour, a team based at the University of Oxford and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is collecting and preserving the everyday stories and objects of the Second World War.

At the events, stories about the wartime experience of people’s families – and associated objects such as diaries, letters, medals, journals and ration books – will be recorded, digitised, and then uploaded to the Their Finest Hour online archive, which will launch in June 2024 and be free to use.

Dr Stuart Lee, Their Finest Hour project leader, said: “We’re delighted to be able to create an archive of memories of the Second World War. We know from previous projects that people have so many wonderful objects, photos, and anecdotes which have been passed down from family members which are at risk of getting lost or being forgotten. Our aim is to empower local communities to digitally preserve these stories and objects before they are lost to posterity.”

Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “As stories about the Second World War are fast fading from living memory, it is vital that they – and the wartime objects that often accompany them – are preserved for future generations. I’m delighted that our library service is taking part in this important national project.”

The project team is especially interested in collecting contributions from people from underrepresented backgrounds to increase the diversity of people benefiting from Second World War heritage.

If you have any questions about the event, please email or pop into your local library.