THE Henley Archaeological and Historical Group has launched a project on Henley in the Second World War, inviting contributions from its own members but also from the town generally.
The idea is to present a picture of Henley and what life was like in its various aspects in the town and nearby villages. The period to be covered will be immediately before, during and after the war. The aim is to focus on practical details, including for example the price of food and necessities, the arrival of refugees in the town, and changes to working lives and the lives of women and children created by the war. The uses to which the bigger houses in the countryside around and buildings in the town were put will also be included.
Contributions might be reminiscences of the period; some time as a volunteer researcher; or the loan of photos, diaries or other objects from the period.
This is perhaps the last opportunity to collect stories, although the Group is keen that it should not be simply an exercise in nostalgia, but a good, solid piece of evidence-based historical narrative, in which the files of the Henley Standard, for example, would also play a part.
The aim will be to produce a small publication within a year or so, together with an exhibition. The Group will be contacting other organisations known to have documents and asking for their help and participation.
It is now nearly 80 years since the war ended and few people will still have their own personal memories. But younger people will have recollections of their parent’s experiences, and perhaps artefacts, including diaries and photographs, which they might be prepared to lend.
If you would be interested in taking an active part or would like to make a particular contribution, please contact any one of these members of HA&HG’s committee:
- Michael Redley, Chairman – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jackie Fortey – email@example.com
- Liz Thoms – firstname.lastname@example.org