The collections below are a selection of research materials from WCT’s production of What They Left Behind in Wimborne town centre, May 2016.
View the Production’s page here.
View the Archive Materials page here.
What They Left Behind was the culmination of over two years of research by WCT into the Great War period both nationally and in Wimborne. We worked in collaboration with the Priest’s House Museum on Gathering Days when local people were asked to bring their stories of the war and we used their extensive library to find our own stories.
Members of WCT visited local museums and military organisations and interviewed local people, some of whom had been looking into the period for themselves. A few of us went to the World War One battlefields around Ypres to see for ourselves the battle sites which must have seemed so distant to the inhabitants of Wimborne at the time.
When we concentrate on an object whatever its situation, the very act of attention leads to our involuntarily sinking into the history of that object. . .such that we become ‘not of the now’.
View two of the many objects that inspired us when we began developing the production:
1 Autograph Book belonging to Gertrude Coggin
2. Letter written by Bessie Angell to the War Office
View Gathering Family Memories at the Priest’s House Museum with two short videos
View Flyer advertising the Gathering Days
View Finding out about Local Families, including The Old Road Story and The Angell Family
View The Face of Harry (the story behind the soldier featured on the programme)
View Stories of 3 Wimborne Soldiers and Aviators – the flying ace, the England cricketer and the Beaucroft patient
Wimborne Soldiers who never came back
View Wimborne Minster War Memorial listing Harry Angell and his two brothers
Local War Hospitals
View How the diaries of Olive Harcourt inspired the music in the production
View History of Beaucroft House – the Red Cross Hospital where Olive Harcourt and Gertrude Coggin nursed
View A 2012 Bournemouth Echo account of Bournemouth’s War Hospitals in the First World War
WCT Vist to the Flanders Battlefields
View WCT Visit to Ypres
Read Stories of the War in Belgium from In Flanders Field Museum, Ypres
Local Military Connections
View Researching Local Military Connections – visits to Blandford Camp and the Western Front Association
View The Dorset Yeomanry in World War One
Research into Aspects of the War
View Research into the Post Office in the Great War
View Research into the Great Houses and Families of Dorset
View The Women’s War locally
The Local School and Children’s Lives during the War
View Wimborne Infant School Log of the time
The Psychological Effect of War
View The Impact of War: Newspaper Report of a Dorset Soldier’s Attempted Suicide
Recipe cards were used in the local shops which hosted art installations to promote the production
View recipes from World War One from the Win-the-War Cookery Book