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Music and entertainment was a large part of culture during World War ll. During the war, music served as a uniting factor among people around the world. The ENSA Memorial Appeal has been set up to raise the funds required to create a lasting memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas Staffordshire to honour those men and women of the show business profession who did so much to boost the morale of the country during World War ll both at home and on the front line.
The memorial is not just about the stars of the time but the every day musicians, the jobbing actors and actresses, the dancers, comedians, acrobats, and the projectionists that went around showing the Pathe news reels. In particular those who lost their lives as a result of performing their art for the war effort.
Apart from ENSA the memorial will also encompass other entertainment organisations at the time such as Stars in Battledress and the RAF Gang Shows.
World War ll was known as "The people's War"for a reason - it was brought directly to the people of Britain, forcing them to flee their city or face a city of fear. Because of all the anxiety and fear caused during this time, the people needed an outlet, and that outlet came often in the form of entertainment and songs of hope.
The memorial once unveiled will also form part of our on going policy to educate current and future generations on the important role that music and entertainment played in the eventual outcome.