Event aims to preserve Second World War memories

Posted 11th September 2023

Thornton College invites individuals to share their tales and artefacts linked to the Second World War during their Digital Collection Day at the school on Saturday, 16th September from 10 a.m.

The 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.

As these stories are fast fading from living memory, it is vital that they – and the wartime objects that often accompany them – are preserved for future generations.

At the Digital Collection Day, stories about your family’s wartime experience – 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 be free-to-use and launch in June 2024.

Dr Stuart Lee, 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.”

Dr Louise Shaw, Head Teacher at Thornton College said “we are delighted to be working with the team at the University of Oxford to hold this event.  History is incredibly important to us at Thornton College and our whole school community is excited to learn more about local WW2 stories. Students are volunteering on the day alongside their parents and grandparents and this engagement is a wonderful opportunity to be part of preserving history for future generations!”

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

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Jennifer Walker via email JWalker@thorntoncollege.com. For more information about the project, please visit the project website (theirfinesthour.org). You can also follow the project’s progress on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.