We are delighted to be working in partnership with Bodmin Keep throughout 2021 on a national project developed by Imperial War Museums (IWM). This project will see both museums delivering a range of projects that uncover lesser-known stories about Cornwall in the Second World War.
Find Out More:
Listen to our Digital Interns Podcast as they investigate the archives and collections and share their discoveries:
- Promo/Trailer An introduction to our new upload series, as featured on BBC Radio Cornwall (03:54)
- Episode 1 The Digital Interns at Bodmin Keep and the Museum of Cornish Life share their recent findings of a nurse from Bodmin and the story of an Italian child evacuee (14:33)
- Episode 2 In this second episode, Charlotte at Bodmin Keep talks about the amazing military feats of Major Kitchen, a war hero from the 5th Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, while Joseph at the Museum of Cornish Life shares the wartime experiences of Mary Beazley, the daughter of a Cornish-born Royal Navy admiral (15:54)
- Episode 3 For the month of May, our interns mark Flora Day with two special stories. Joseph tells the fascinating story about how a component part of a German Heinkel bomber, which crash-landed at a farm near Helston, became part of the Flora Day Dance Clock held at the Museum of Cornish Life. Meanwhile, Charlotte shares the beautiful story of Edith Doreen Kearney, a young nurse from Devon based at Bodmin’s St Lawrence’s hospital during the war and the wartime romance she began with her future American husband Frank, a radioman with the US Army’s 29th Infantry Division (19:42)
- Episode 4 Now on their fourth episode, the interns discuss the topic of Prisoners of War (POWs). Joseph unveils the research which he and the team at the Museum of Cornish Life have uncovered on enemy POWs, both German and Italian, who were interned in Cornwall. Meanwhile, Charlotte shares the story of Gerald Cecil Williams, known as ‘Toot’s’, a Cornish-born senior British officer who was captured during the North African Campaign and spent three years as a POW in Italy, Czechoslovakia and Germany (21:45)
Read our news stories as we discover more about the Cornish story of WW2:
- Evacuees stories: we begin by sharing the stories of three child evacuees who came to Cornwall to escape the Blitz on London
- Clothing in WW2: an account of CC41 the utility clothing scheme
- The Admiral’s daughter: how the war was experienced in Cornwall by Mary Loveday Beazley, the teenage daughter of Admiral B.H. Rawlings
- VE Day & Flora Day: a memory of the 8 May 1945 from an account in the museum
- The Heinkel crash and the Flora Day Clock: how a component part of a German bomber aircraft ended up in the museum’s Furry Dance Clock
- The Sailor, The Superintendent Registrar and the Marriage License: the story of a Merchant Navy sailor who tried to get married in wartime, and a Superintendent Registrar who attempted to fight against an injustice
- Prisoners of War: how Cornwall became home to more than 5,000 enemy prisoners, both German and Italian
- Land Girls: how the Women’s Land Army in Cornwall played a critical role in the national war effort by keeping the county, and the country, fed during wartime
We’d love to know what you think about our Cornish Second World War stories. We’d be really grateful if you could take a couple of minutes to complete this short survey.
Hear the voices of those who experience life in wartime Cornwall during the Second World War. Brought to you in partnership with Imperial War Museums (IWM) from the online catalogue of IWM Sound Archive:
- Beazley, Mary Loveday
- A British schoolchild who experienced the war years while living at the family home on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, and also attending boarding school in Hampshire, 1938-1943. Daughter of Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings, Naval Attaché at British Embassy in Tokyo (1935-38) and senior naval commander in Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific theatres during the war. Recollections of childhood living abroad in various exotic countries due to father’s naval career. Memories of work in a parachute factory in London and experiences of V1 & V2 Blitz, 1943-1945. Story of meeting husband, RAF fighter pilot, Wing Commander Hugh John Beazley, DFC.
We are looking for stories about WW2 from a Cornish perspective. If you have any stories please get in touch with us by calling the museum or email email@example.com
Take and Make Bunting (31 May – 5 June 2021)
If you would like to contribute to our WW2 project come and pick up a Take and Make Bunting pack from the museum. All bunting returned to the museum by the start of July will be joined together to create a community bunting. Watch this film for a quick how to make your own bunting using one of our packs.
Alongside the opening of new Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries in 2021, IWM’s Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme (SWWHPP) will support eight cultural heritage partners across the UK to engage with new audiences and share hidden or lesser-known, local stories related to these histories. Over the next three years, the SWWHPP will establish a Digital Internship, support skills development in Partner organisations and facilitate loans of IWM’s rich collection across the UK in support of digital and community-based events co-produced with local people and creative artists. The SWWHPP is generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.