At the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, we aim to tell the stories of everyone affected by war in the county of Oxfordshire; from the soldier on the front line to the families on the home front. Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers work hard to tell these stories of conflict and county in many different ways including our permanent displays and learning sessions.
Our latest project aims to expand upon the ways in which our visitors can learn about conflict at the museum. Already at the museum is a model trench which was built with the kind help of local Cadets when we first opened in 2014. We have found the trench to be an invaluable tool when teaching the First World War to groups of students, and according to our visitor feedback the immersive environment has offered a new way to engage with the information in our permanent displays.
To continue the success of our trench environment, we would like to build an Anderson shelter experience which visitors can walk through. Anderson shelters were used in WW2 by families as a place to hide when the air raid siren sounded, warning of a potential bomb attack. Photographs of the inside of Anderson shelters at the time show homely touches of cushions and photographs, as well as supplies such as food and entertainment in case families were confined inside for a long time.
Any money you can give will help us purchase the materials to create an Anderson shelter structure and collect some replica WW2 handling materials to furnish it. Think bunk beds, games, blankets and even a chamber pot!
The Anderson shelter experience will become a vital part of our WW2 education sessions which teach about the changes to life at home during wartime, and visitors will be able to enjoy it during our opening hours. We will also use the handling materials in our reminiscence work which helps participants explore their memories of the past in a safe and welcoming environment.
As a thank you, by helping fund our latest immersive project you could access a range of rewards including annual museum passes and your name featured in the Anderson shelter. Any support is very gratefully received.
The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum team