The Wight at War to focus on Island's wartime history

By Ross Findon

Monday, April 28, 2014

 

The Wight at War to focus on Island's wartime history

The Wight at War conference has been organised by the Isle of Wight Family History Society.

HISTORY organisations from across the Island will be represented at a conference focusing on the First World War and its impact on Islanders.

The Wight at War 1914-19, has been organised by the Isle of Wight Family History Society (IWFHS) and will feature three speakers and displays from a host of organisations, including the Isle of Wight County Press.

"This is more ambitious than our normal conference, but we felt that with the centenary of the start of the Great War this year we wanted to do something bigger," said IWFHS chairman Geoff Allan.

Isle of Wight Council heritage services manager Richard Smout will speak about the impact of the First World War on Islanders at home, while historian and County Press writer John Medland will speak about the military contribution of Islanders.

There will also be a talk from Harry Willis Fleming about the experiences of his forebear Richard Willis Fleming and the creation of memorials at Havestreet and North Stoneham.

The IWFHS has collated the stories of around 40 Islanders who served during the war, but Mr Allan said they were keen to find stories about life back on the Island during the conflict.

The event, which will be held at Northwood House on Saturday, May 3, is open to the public from 10.30am to 5pm.

Tickets are available from — The Treasurer, IWFHS, Wight Haven , Weston Lane, Totland, Isle of Wight PO39 0HE.

Entry is £8 for members (including the exhibition and three talks), £10 for non-members and £2 for entry to the exhibition only.

Cheques should be made payable to IWFHS and a stamped address envelope should be included.

Reporter: ross.findon@iwcp.co.uk

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by Geoff Allan

1st May 2014, at 15:21:22

It's now too late to request tickets by post, (as mentioned above) but we will try to accommodate anyone who turns up on the day without a ticket. Pre-paid ticket holders for the talks will of course take priority, but there should be no problems with general admission to the exhibition areas.

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by Geoff Allan

29th April 2014, at 08:26:51

David Blackford :- I agree that the majority of men who returned from the War were reluctant to talk, but we have got copies of some contemporary diaries, and the letters home from the front, many of which were published by the County Press, were surprisingly candid (despite the censor) about wartime experiences. But we are also trying to capture the experience of those "at home" working in the shipyards and factories, farms and homes, and not just the military aspects. With just a few days to go to the conference, please be aware that tickets for the talks are selling fast, but if you just want to attend the exhibitions, just turn up at Northwood House ! - Geoff Allan, Chairman, IWFHS

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by David Blackford

28th April 2014, at 16:37:53

I'm sure that there will be plenty of historical data about life on the Isle of Wight during WW1 - But for "life over there" - if my Dad was anything to go by, he never ever spoke about it, not even how he lost a leg. So I think there will be very little family history forthcoming of life in the horrors of trench warfare

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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