Our third spin-off story from the Grafton Underwood Memorial Service comes to us courtesy of
the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.
An interactive archive of images and information
In 2014, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) launched an ambitious project to which many of us can contribute.
James Rossington of the IWM, has told Geddington.net about the project. “The American Air Museum website (www.americanairmuseum.com) seeks to record the stories of American airmen and women based in Britain during the Second World War and the British people they met. The website showcases a collection of thousands of photographs which depict people, planes, places and missions. The website can be added to and edited by anyone who registers, following a very simple sign-up process on the website itself, and is completely free to use.
We expect that the content of the site will be of interest to local people, as highlights include wartime aerial photography from English Heritage’s archive and many intriguing photographs of US troops socialising with UK civilians. Some people browsing the site have already recognised relatives and friends.
As Geddington is located only a few miles from Grafton Underwood airfield, we are seeking the help of local people towards capturing and recording the local heritage of your area.
The kinds of things which others have done to date include:
- Identifying the people and places shown in the photographs already on our site and adding captions online.
- Scanning a personal photo album or local photograph collection and sharing the pictures on our website
- Creating a record for a British civilian (a relative or yourself) who has memories of the Americans in Britain and adding their memories and biography to the website
- Carrying out oral history interviews. As it is the 70 anniversary of the end of the Second World War this year, perhaps you might consider a bigger project involving the children in your neighbourhood interviewing their grandparents, and uploading the stories they record to the website, getting them enthused about local history in the process.”
In his email to us, James stressed the point: “We are very keen for British and American people to add their stories and experiences to the website, so please do encourage anyone with information to do so!”
If you on your own behalf, or perhaps on a relative’s behalf, can help or have stories to add, no matter how long or short, please go to the (very comprehensive) website to see the sort of thing that James is asking for.
In addition, you will find below a ‘How To Guide’ which is extremely comprehensive. Go to the ‘Geddington’ section or, if your story comes from a different village, look for that name, and follow the Guide.
Who knows what, or who, you might find there!