Wor Women on the Home Front Exhibition

Wor Women on the Home Front Exhibition

Wor Women on the Home Front Exhibition

By Marty Henry

A collection of digital stories has been recorded by women in the North East following their research into the realities of daily existence for their ancestors 100 years ago.

They visited the region’s museums, libraries and archives to uncover little-known accounts of life on the Home Front as part of year-long project Wor Women.

Some, such as Gwen Usher from Gosforth in Newcastle, unearthed their own family histories which help form the centrepiece of the exhibition, which is now open at Newcastle City Library.

The personal stories tell of ordinary women turned pioneers as they embarked on new working careers in a rapidly-changing world.

Gwen, 78, recorded fond memories of her Aunt Mary who lived in Heaton in the early 20th Century.

Mary Gilhome was inspired by a war-time poster which encouraged people to volunteer in the region’s hospitals and she began a career in nursing.

“My aunt felt she had to do something towards the war effort,” said Gwen. “She knew they would need nurses. That was the early days of women going to work.”

Wor Women is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through its centenary programme helping communities mark the impact of the Fist World War on the lives of women back home.

Some of the work was shown at Beamish on international women’s day and extracts will also go on display at St Mary Heritage Centre in Gateshead on May 30 as part of Local History Month.

The exhibition will run on level four of Newcastle City Library from May 1-31 ahead of a tour. You can watch their stories here.



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