Window on wartime in Dilton Marsh

Wiltshire Times: Dilton Marsh History Group’s Eileen Noble, chairman Alison Irving and treasurer Graham Noble   Photo: Trevor Porter (48531) Dilton Marsh History Group’s Eileen Noble, chairman Alison Irving and treasurer Graham Noble Photo: Trevor Porter (48531)

Dilton Marsh History Society will be exploring what it was like to live in the village during the Second World War, after being awarded a grant for £17,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Village at War project will collate and preserve local memories and enable the community to explore life in Dilton Marsh between 1939 and 1945.

It will also look at the history of the American GIs stationed around the village, researching the dramatic change in rural life as thousands of Americans from overseas camped around Dilton Marsh before taking part in the D-Day landings.

Various events will take place while the project is in progress to reignite wartime crafts and activities and make them relevant to the community today, culminating in a 1940s dance.

Chairman of the history society Alison Irving said: “We feel it is important to record wartime memories before it’s too late.

“Research will be done by the history society, members of the community and the village school.”

An official launch event takes place on April 5 at Dilton Marsh Village Hall, where there will be re-enactors from the group Blitz Buddies. Residents are invited to bring along wartime artefacts, documents and photographs.

All materials will be recorded on a free CD ROM that will given the community.

Nerys Watts, Heritage Lottery Fund’s head of south west, said: “Projects such as this one in Dilton Marsh help us all to understand the influence of the Second World War period on the way we live today.”

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