South East Collections >

Buckinghamshire County Museum
Canterbury City Council Museums and Galleries Service
Chertsey Museum
The Fernhurst Society
Godalming Museum
Oxfordshire County Council Oral History Archive
Petersfield Museum
Portsmouth Museums & Records Service
Southampton City Council Oral History Unit

West Sussex Record Office

Collection websites contain:
 Transcripts / Summaries  Audio files              Video files            


Buckinghamshire County Museum
Church Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 2QP
Contact: Alexandra MacCulloch, Keeper of Art, Clothing and Textiles
Telephone: 01296 331441 Fax: 01296 334884
Email: museum@buckscc.gov.uk

Collection description:
A collection of about 100 oral history recordings of Bucks people. These were collected during the period 1968-1990.

Recordings relating to World War II: 
2 (Life histories with references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • British Army

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts
Access:
The recordings are all currently on reel to reel tape and we do not have facilities to access them. Researchers can come to see the transcripts which exist at the Museum Resource Centre, Halton which is open by appointment only (for more information visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/museum)
Current status: Collection is no longer under development.

Top of page

 

Canterbury City Council Museums and Galleries Service
Museum of Canterbury, Stour Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2NR
Contact: Craig Bowen, Collections and Research Manager
Telephone: 01227 475206 Fax:
Email: craig.bowen@canterbury.gov.uk

Collection description:
Home Front Recall Collection - part of the Home Front Recall Project of 2005. 6 CDs of reminiscences of what life was like in Wartime Canterbury.
Memories of the Blitz - Compiled by Anne Pope in 1992, reminiscences of 50+ people about the Home Front in Canterbury and the bombing of the city in 1940-44.

Recordings relating to World War II:
c. 60 (Recordings are solely focused on wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Evacuees • British Army • Royal Air Force (Fighter Command) • German Prisoner of War (in Allied camps) • Italian Prisoner of War (in Allied camps)

Format of recordings:
Audio - no transcripts
Access:
Prior notice is required to access records. Visitor access form must be filled out and signed before access is granted.

Related products:
Home Front Recall - a CD-ROM was produced for schools on a limited run. These are not currently available for purchase.
Memories of the Blitz - A booklet accompanied the project and 2 edited tapes were produced, one on the bombing and one on war time life were made. Teachers notes were also produced. These have now lapsed, but are available to view as part of the archive.

Current status: Collection is no longer under development.

Top of page

 

Chertsey Museum
The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 8AT
Contact: Emma Warren, Curator
Telephone: 01932 565764 Fax:
Email: curator@chertseymuseum.org.uk

Collection description:
Short interviews with Chertsey residents recorded in the 1980s.

Recordings relating to World War II:
10 (Recordings are solely focused on wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front

Format of recordings:
Audio - no transcripts
Access:
Recordings can be accessed by prior arrangement at the Museum. They are not available for reproduction.
Current status: Collection is still under development

Top of page

 

The Fernhurst Society                                                                                      
The Fernhurst Archives, Village Hall, Glebe Road, Fernhurst, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 3EH
Contact: Richard Ranft
Email: enquiries@fernhurstsociety.org.uk

Collection description:
The collection has been developed by the Society oral history project,  which has been running since 1998, interviewing local residents about their recollections of Fernhurst in the 20th century.

Recordings relating to World War II: 
58 (Life histories, some with references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Bevin Boys

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts. Some extracts are available to listen to on the Society website.

Access:
The recordings are available for consultation in the Fernhurst Archives. Contact the Society for more information.

Top of page

 

 

Godalming Museum
109a High Street, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1AQ
Contact: Alison Pattison, Curator
Telephone: 01483 426510 Fax: 01483 523495
Email: godalming.museum@waverley.gov.uk

Collection description:
In 2006-7 a community project called Keeping Memories Alive was established in Godalming. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other bodies for 18 months to collect oral history about the origin and development of two estates in Godalming - Ockford Ridge and Aaron's Hill. The funded part of the project is now completed but has left a legacy of oral history recordings and copied photographs which can be accessed at the museum, as well as a publication 'Keeping Memories Alive - A Community Oral History Project on Ockford Ridge and Aaron's Hill' which includes a CD Rom containing 100s of audio clips. A smaller number of clips is available on a CD. 17 people were interviewed during the funded part of the project. As Ockford Ridge was established in the 1930s and Aaron's Hill in the late '40s most of these interviews include references to the Second World War and a quarter of the clips on the CD Rom relate to the same topic. Most are recollections of growing up during the war, including memories of the local army camps at Witley, where many Canadian troops were based.

Recordings relating to World War II:
17 (Life histories with references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Evacuees • British Army (Northern Europe)

Format of recordings:
The recordings are digital and each has a handwritten precis, completed by the interviewer at the time of the interview. Transcripts are planned.

Access:
A CD Rom containing many clips from the oral history recordings, including clips relating to the Second World War can be accessed in the museum exhibition gallery, on the ground floor of the museum at any time during museum opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10.00 to 4.00 in winter, 5.00 in summer). No prior notice is needed. Access to the original recordings is through the museum's local studies library which is open Tuesday to Saturday, 1.00 to 4.00 pm. But access can be provided at other times by prior arrangement. The local studies library is on the first floor of the museum building which is grade II listed and access is up 16 stairs. Access can readily be provided on the ground floor by prior arrangement. As this is a new collection we currently advise contacting the Curator, Alison Pattison, in advance if access is required to the original recordings. There is no charge for this service but donations are welcomed.

Related products:
A well illustrated, 20 page booklet and associated CD Rom 'Keeping Memories Alive, a Community Oral History Project on Ockford Ridge and Aaron's Hill'is available from the museum. It includes 4 pages on 'The Home Front' as well as information about local industries and childhood which is also of interest in relation to the Second World War. There is no charge for this publication which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. An associated sound CD is also available. These can be supplied by post at a cost of £2.70 to cover packing & postage. Please send a cheque made out to Godalming Museum Trust. Any additional donations included will be warmly welcomed. Godalming Museum Trust is a registered charity (no 292155).

Current status: The collection is still under development

Top of page

 

 

Oxfordshire County Council Oral History Archive                                            
Oxfordshire Studies, Central Library, Westgate, Oxford, Oxon, OX1 1DJ
Contact: Dr Malcolm Graham, Head of Oxfordshire Studies
Telephone: 01865 815749 Fax: 01865 810187                         
Email: oxfordshire.studies@oxfordshire.gov.uk 

Collection description:
Oxfordshire County Council Oral History Archive was created in 1991 when the Oxfordshire Studies service was established, bringing together separate collections of recordings built up by Oxfordshire Libraries and Oxfordshire Museums since the 1970s. The archive is seen as complementary to the other collections of the County's Museums & Heritage Service in that it provides a window on the past which is educational, informative and even inspirational; it also provides a focus for oral history activity throughout Oxfordshire. Recordings and transcripts are freely available for research purposes and the catalogue is now searchable on the web at 
www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/heritagesearch The archive comprises around 700 field recordings, some made by County Council staff and volunteers from the 1960s onwards and others the result of work by local groups and societies; it also includes over 3,000 BBC Radio Oxford recordings from 1970 onwards and around 400 transcripts.

Recordings relating to World War II:
120 (Total includes both recordings solely focused on wartime experience & life histories which include references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Evacuees • British Army (Northern Europe) • Royal Air Force (Bomber Command & Fighter Command) • POWs (in German/Italian camps) • Women's Land Army • German POWs (in Allied camps) • Italian POWs (in Allied camps) • Other: Home Guard • Refugees

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts
Video - no transcripts
The recordings are, or will be digitised

Access: 
Researchers can currently access the archive without restriction and free of charge at Oxfordshire Studies during the normal opening hours of the service: Mon, Fri, Sat 9-5; Tue, Thu 9-7; closed Wed, Sun. Prior notice may be needed if surrogate copies of original recordings still have to be made. Copies of recordings can be supplied for private use subject to copyright and order forms are available on the web at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/orderforms
For up to date information please check www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/oxfordshirestudies

Related products: 
Oxfordshire at War, Dr M. Graham, Alan Sutton Publishing, 1994 ISBN 0 7509 0459 3 (out of print)
Current status:  Collection is still under development
Additional notes: 
The Home Front is probably best served by the collection, both through wartime memories in life histories and particularly through a series of field recordings made in 1989 about the Women's Land Army, refugees, evacuees and local prisoners of wars (Ref: OT 73-83).

Top of page

 

Petersfield Museum
The Old Courthouse, St Peters Road, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 3HX
Contact: Sara Sadler, Curator
Telephone: 01730 262601 Fax:
Email: curator@petersfieldmuseum.co.uk

Collection description:
2004.68 - series of tape recordings made by David Jeffery when writing "Petersfield at War".
2004.69 - recollections of D-Day landings. Audio cassette (backup of minidisc recording - master held at Hampshire Record Office)
2004.70 - recollections of D-Day landings. Audio cassette (backup of minidisc recording - master held at Hampshire Record Office)
2004.71 - recollections of D-Day landings. Audio cassette (backup of minidisc recording - master held at Hampshire Record Office)
2004.72 - audio cassette recording of childhood memories of Petersfield during WWII and of D-Day June 6 1944 (master held at Hampshire Record Office)
2004.73 - audio cassette recording of memories of WWII and D-Day.
2004.74 - audio cassette recording of memories of WWII and D-Day.

Recordings relating to World War II: 
7 (Recordings are solely focused on wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Not specified

Format of recordings:
Audio - no transcripts

Access:
Prior notice is required to access the collections

Related products:
Petersfield at War by David Jeffery. Available to buy at the museum.
Current status: Collection is not presently being developed but this is under consideration
Additional notes:
The recordings all relate to Petersfield and the surrounding area. All recordings are of local people. We hold backups of the recordings - the master copies are sent to Hampshire Record Office. 

Top of page

 

Portsmouth Museums & Records Service / D Day Museum                           
City Museum & Records Office, Museum Road, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 2LJ
Contact: Andrew Whitmarsh, Military History Officer
Telephone: 023 9282 7261 Fax: 023 9287 5276
Email: andrew.whitmarsh @ portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Collection description:
Portsmouth Museums & Records Service includes the City Museum & Records Office, and the D-Day Museum. The Service collects oral history material relating to all aspects of the history of Portsmouth, and with reference to the D-Day Museum, material relating to D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. In total the Service holds around 1,500 oral history interviews, many of which were conducted as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project. Of these, around 300 relate specifically or mainly to the Second World War. These include:

70 interviews with people who lived in wartime Portsmouth;
30 inteviews with former members of the local Home Guard;
150 interviews with mainly British D-Day veterans;

50 interviews conducted with D-Day veterans of all nationalities by the author Russell Miller in the early 1990s for his book "Nothing Less Than Victory. An Oral History of D-Day".

As well as the 300 war-related interviews mentioned above, many others cover a broader chronological period but do mention the war (such as, for example, some of the 455 interviews from the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust Collection, recorded with people who worked in the Dockyard and which are deposited with the Service).

In addition to the material described above, the D-Day Museum's archives also contain, as part of the Russell Miller collection, copies of transcripts of 50 oral history interviews conducted in the 1950s by Cornelius Ryan for his book "The Longest Day". The original interviews are now in the Cornelius Ryan Collection at Ohio University. These Ryan interviewees include Rommel’s adjutant Helmut Lang, and the German Naval C-in-C West, Admiral Theodor Krancke. In addition, this collection includes partial transcripts of 60 oral history interviews (or memoir-style self made recordings) of American D-Day veterans, the originals of which are held by the Eisenhower Centre. The D Day Museum website contains a number of extracts of transcriptions of recordings held in the Museum collection.

Recordings relating to World War II:
300 (Total includes both recordings solely focused on wartime experience & life histories which include references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Evacuees • British Army (Northern Europe) • British Army (N. Africa/Italy) • British Army (unspecified) • Royal Navy • Royal Air Force (Bomber & Fighter Command) • WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) • WRNS (Women's Royal Naval Service) • ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) • Women's Land Army • Canadian Armed Forces • American Armed Forces • German Armed Forces

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts / Transcripts only
Access:
This material can be accessed by prior appointment - please contact us in advance of your visit. Currently there is no publicly-accessible catalogue of these oral history interviews, but we hope to make one available in the future.
Related products:
John Stedman, "Portsmouth Reborn: Destruction & Reconstruction 1939 - 1974", Portsmouth Papers No.66.
The following publications are not exclusively about the Second World War but do include brief mentions of this period:
"Voices from Paulgsrove: A Spoken History", Edited by Sharon Lee and John Stedman.
"Voices from Eastney: A Spoken history", Edited by Sharon Lee and John Stedman.
"Voices from Landport: A Spoken History", Edited by Sharon Collins, John Stedman and Keith Thomas.
"Fingers to the bone: recollections of corset workers in Portsmouth", Edited by Sharon Lee and John Stedman.
"On the Boats: A spoken history of Portsmouth's ferries", Edited by John Stedman and Sharon Collins.
To obtain the above publications, go to http://www.portsmouthmuseumsshop.co.uk/ or contact the Portsmouth City Museum & Records Office.
Current status: The collection is still under development

Top of page

 

Southampton City Council Oral History Unit
Tower House, Town Quay Road, Southampton, SO14 2NY
Telephone: 023 8091 5725 Fax: 023 8083 2798
Email: museums@southampton.gov.uk 

Collection description:
The Southampton City Council Oral History Unit has been interviewing local residents for a number of years, and two of their projects have focused specifically on wartime experiences:

Blitz in Southampton - memories of civilians who experienced the bombing 


D-Day - memories of the preparations in the Southampton area before the invasion of Normandy in June 1944

In addition, there are a number of recordings which were collected for other projects which include references to the war. Please contact the Unit for more details.

Recordings relating to World War II:
c. 60 (Total includes both recordings solely focused on wartime experience & life histories which include references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Evacuees • British Army

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts
Access:
There is no charge for reference or study purposes however, there is a charge for commercial use of material. Contact the Unit for further details regarding access.

Related products:
Southampton Blitz - the Unofficial Story. This book was written using interviews from the Blitz project. It is now out of print but is available second-hand via Amazon.

Southampton and D-Day. This book was the result of the D Day project. It is still available for sale from the Unit, or via Amazon.

Top of page

 

West Sussex Record Office
County Hall, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1RN
Contact: Alan Readman, Assistant County Archivist
Telephone: 01243 753600 Fax: 01243 533959
Email: records.office@westsussex.gov.uk

Collection description:
West Sussex Record Office Oral History Collection (WSRO OH Series)
Started in 1972. To create an archive for the county of West Sussex of recollections of events and ways of life within living memory. To complement other archive sources held in the Record Office. Interviews are recorded directly by the Record Office and are acquired from individuals, groups and societies within the county.

Recordings relating to World War II:
50 (Total includes both recordings solely focused on wartime experience & life histories which include references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Evacuees • British Army (Northern Europe) • British Army (North Africa / Italy) • Royal Air Force (Fighter Command) • Prisoners of War (in German/Italian camps)

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts
Video - no transcripts
DVD (included within)

Access:
The Record Office is open six days a week (details on our website). Already catalogued recordings are listed on the search-online facility on our website or via the A2A (Access2Archives) website. There are no charges for access. Prior notice of a visit is preferred but not essential.
Related products:
Our video compilation - The Royal Sussex Regiment: A Tercentenary Video (WSCC, 2001) - which makes use of recorded interviews with two WW2 veterans.
Current status: The collection is still under development

Additional notes:
A Home Front Recall project in 2005 produced 32 audio interviews of WW2 Home Front experiences. A reunion of WW2 evacuees was organised at Parham House, West Sussex, in 2005 and produced audio and DVD recordings. Our Oral History collection as a whole extends to 1000 tapes. These include general recollections of life in the county plus recorded magazine programmes for the local area talking news for the blind. Many of these include wartime reminiscences. The Record Office has, of course, other archive sources to complement the recorded wartime recollections.

Top of page


This website is continually being updated. If you would like to suggest a collection which should be included, please contact me.