This new Hedon Museum exhibition is commemorating 80 years since the beginning of WWII. The exhibition will focus on how the people at home helped to win the war.
On Friday 1st September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland. In response, Britain sent an ultimatum to Germany, demanding the immediate withdrawal of its troops from Poland. Hitler ignored it, thereby courting what is now considered to be the deadliest military conflict in history, ending the lives of approximately 75 million people worldwide.
At 11am on Sunday 3rd September 1939, the then Prime Minister of Great Britain, Neville Chamberlain, made a historic broadcast. He confirmed what many already feared, that we would be at war with Germany.
Chamberlain has gone down in history as the man who led a policy of ignorance to Hitler’s ambitions of Germany becoming a world power. With the memories of the WWI still fresh in the minds of the adult population, known previously as ‘the war to end all wars’, it was not surprising that the nation desired a lasting peace. However, the facts now show that, in spite of Chamberlain’s 3 visits to see Hitler in the hope of making peace, preparations for conflict were being made as early as July 1936. In that month, the first mass production of gas masks began. By December 1938, a National Register for war service had been opened on a voluntary basis, and in the same month the first few Jewish children arrived in Britain from Germany. The government allocated £200,000 for the building of air raid shelters, and a series of leaflets and pamphlets were printed and distributed on how to use a gas mask.
During the conflict, with the armed service busy at the front, the people back home had to play their part too. Everybody did their bit. Local organisations such as The Civil Defence, A.R.P., The Home Guard, The Land Army, The Volunteer Fire Service, The Secret Army, The Red Cross, The W.I., The Observer Corps, Special Constables and others rapidly formed or were expanded. The people at home were truly vital to the war effort.
11th September – 2nd November. Wednesdays & Saturdays 10am-4pm. FREE ADMISSION. Refreshments available. Souvenirs and pre-loved books for sale.