Welcome to the WWII Home Front Area at the War and Peace Revival show 2016. For the fifth year running, Forward to Victory Living History Group bring you our very own ‘pop up’ village of Trentham; ‘somewhere in the South-East of England’!
The Second World War wasn’t just about the front line or the service men and women fighting here or overseas. Back home, people fought their own daily battles against worry, family separation, air-raids, homelessness and shortages of food and fuel whilst also supporting the War effort in a huge range of official and voluntary roles, many on top of their normal day jobs. This has become known as the Home Front, or the ‘People’s War’; the mobilisation of the civilian population in answer to the Government’s call that everyone could ‘do their bit’, whether young or old, to support the allied War effort and the defence of Britain.
Our aim is to show a little of this story. At the War and Peace Revival, our area dedicated to life on the Home Front will again bring together re-enactors and their displays to take you back to a village at war. Discover displays and vehicles centered a round a village high street and visit the various shops showing the products that were available at the time. Then drop into the Bush Inn, our village pub – very much the heart of the community. Although open only as a display rather than a working exhibit, sit and enjoy the atmosphere of a wartime hostelry!
Come and see our displays of some of the important roles that women played through voluntary organisations such as the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS), the Women’s Institute (W.I.), the CAB, Women’s Land Army (WLA) and the various First Aid organisations such as the St. John’s Ambulance in the village. Could you run a rest center, a mobile laundry or an emergency canteen after an air raid?
We pay tribute to these ordinary women and how they served the community with compassion, diligence, hard work and often sheer bravery.
See also the Home Guard, Fire Service, ARP and police displays with re-enactors representing those who were ready to face real danger in the defence of the land.
Whilst you’re in the village, drop into the Home Front Marquee – the place to watch demonstrations of wartime cookery with a Ministry of Food lady who will show you how to eke out those rations, and pick up some hair and beauty tips from a top wartime London salon. Learn about’ Make Do and Mend’ and have a go at the weekly wash with a wartime family. There will also be a ‘Make Do and Mend’ Fashion show to give you ideas about using those curtains for something to wear!
New this year is our ‘War Savings Week,’ an interactive theme running throughout the show. Learn about how the public helped the war effort by putting their savings into the National Savings Schemes to help fund the war and our fun-packed fund-raising week includes a Beauty Contest, Pretty Ankles Competition and a Knobbly Knees! Members of the public in 1940s dress are welcome to enter the Pretty Ankles or Knobbly Knees competitions (see timetable).
Also, we are delighted to welcome back Hurst Green Shires this year, with their wonderful Shire horse, Hercules. He is a 10 year old stallion, 17h 1” and he is descended from real warhorses as two of his distant uncles were requisitioned in 1914 and went to war in France. Come and meet Hercules, his sheep friends and the Land Girls in the Parade Ring and find out more about HGS and their work. Please support our heavy horses which were once such a common sight on every farm but now some of our breeds are actually on the endangered species list!