Thursday, 31 March 2016

Here Come the Girls - Women in Wartime 1915-18

From Greenwich Time, March 29 2016

The lives and contributions of local women during the First World War are celebrated in a new touring museum launched next week.

“Here Come the Girls - Women in Wartime 1915-18” will tour libraries and community centres around the royal borough over the next six months, starting at Greenwich Library on Friday, April 8.

Based on a compilation of true stories, the project focuses on the women who worked at the Royal Arsenal (pictured), the nurses and the Voluntary Aid Detachments in the borough’s hospitals and temporary auxiliary hospitals, such as Charlton House, and the families living on the Progress Estate in Eltham.

Actors will take on tree mobile exhibitions - one based on nursing, one on the Arsenal and one on the life at home - to different venues where they will portray the stories about women on the Home Front during the war years.

Families will be invited to get involved, for example, packing yellow lentils into crisp posts - a way of portraying the way ammunition was packed into shells.

The project by the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is funded thanks to a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tracy Stringfellow, chief executive officer of the heritage trust, said “We are very excited to have been awarded a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support this local women’s project.  The role of in the royal borough during the First World War was vital to the war effort and this project allows us to explore their role in much greater detail with our local community.  With touring interactive performances and an online blog, families will get the chance to explore the lives and contribution of Greenwich women at war.”

Stuart Hobley, head of the fund in London, said: “The First World War transformed the role of women in early 20th century British society by drawing them into a wide range of employment, including, at Woolwich, some of the most hazardous jobs on the home front.”

The first performances are at Greenwich Library on Friday, April 8 and Eltham Library on Saturday April 9, both from 11am-2pm

Other venues include Severndroog Castle, Charlton House, which will be turned into a wartime hospital on July 28, and a summer fete with residents on the Progress Estate in Eltham on August.

The trust hopes to add more tour dates and join in other events in the borough over the summer.  For more details visit

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