Pershore Heritage and History Society was one of several Pershore groups that were unsure of where to start their First World War project. At an event hosted by the University of Worcester and linked to the First World War Engagement Centre: Voices of War and Peace funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), they joined like-minded groups, including the Pershore branch of the Women’s institute.
Teaming up with university students and professional historians Maggie Andrews and Jenni Waugh, they set out to research how schoolchildren, prisoners of war, Belgian refugees and Boy Scouts all had a part to play in preventing the nation from starving in wartime. They discovered how these groups helped with the war effort by picking plums, looking after chickens and digging potatoes.
This research has been used in a new book and the partners continue to share their methods and findings at events to inspire others, some of which have been filmed and shared online. They also plan to be involved in the Engagement Centre’s follow-on-project Volunteers and Voters.