I made a film!

We* decided to finish up Ombersley Remembers the WW1 Home Front by making a short film to show off some of the many discoveries made during the project. Hope you enjoy the trip!

It’s been a delight to work with the Ombersley Remembered research volunteers – I’ve never had so many keen researchers stick with me throughout.  I think there were about 15 by the end, but I do admit I lost count!

I think they were particularly enthused because the subject matter they were researching focussed on their own homes – we looked at the history of the parish in WW1 by finding out who lived in each featured house and what they were most likely doing through the war.

We were really helped here because the combination of surviving official records between 1911 and 1921 which meant we could tie individuals to their homes and occupations by using the 1911 census, the 1910 Finance Act returns (correct for 1914), electoral registers and commercial directories.  So much information, and that was before we started rummaging in the parish registers, newspapers and school log books!

The research was then used to create two parish tours focussing on the WW1 Home Front, which you can find and try out for yourself by visiting the project website.

Ombersley Remembers is my fifth community history project focussing on the WW1 history of Worcestershire. 

It was led locally by the Ombersley Memorial Hall Committee, and I’m really grateful to them for asking me to help out with their Heritage Lottery Funded project.  Everyone pitched in, including the pupils at the village school who learned about the Home Front by touring the village and researching the houses with us.  They visited Ombersley Court, ran a WW1 soup kitchen, picked blackberries, made jam, produced some glorious art works, made a radio show and finally led a memorial service in the village church.

The other WW1 projects were WW1 in the Vale, with Pershore WI, Pershore Heritage & History Society and the University of Worcester (HLF funded); Abberley Lives with the Abberley WI (HLF funded); and two projects with the University of Worcester, Childhood Interrupted and Volunteers & Voters (AHRC funded).

*The film-making ‘We’ here is James McDonald, a long-time collaborator, and myself.  James had a fancy new camera so we went out between rain showers on a damp February Friday to try it out.  We hope you like the result!


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