Voices from 1918

Welcome to Voices from 1918 - a project from arts organisation ScreenPLAY in which we paint a picture of life in 1918 through the the diaries and letters of people who were there.

When food rationing began at the start of 1918, Dorset County Museum curator John Acland carefully noted the details in the front of his diary 8lbs of bread a week for a man doing heavy work, 3lbs 8oz for a woman in a sedentary job.

Our main “characters” from 1918 are nursing Auxiliary Olive Harcourt at Beaucroft Red Cross Hospital in Wimborne, stretcher bearer James Sansom from Portland, Lady Mary Monkswell a well-connected diarist from Beaminster, Dr Marie Stopes, author of Married Love, and artillery lieutenant Alfred Forbes Johnson, who gets through the war with humour and much reading during those misty shifts on the observation post.
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Using this blog

Explore by day, month or person here on the blog or on our five Twitter feeds: @Voicesfrom1918 @LadyMonkswell @MarieStopes1918 @JamesSansom230 and @OliveHarcourt.

Voices from 1918 has been developed by artists Sharon Hayden and Alastair Nisbet in partnership with Wimborne Community Theatre, Dorset History Centre and the Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanks to all who have helped us with this project: Maria Gayton and staff at Dorset History Centre where we found Lady Mary Monkswell’s diaries; Joan Cocozza, ward of nursing auxiliary Olive Harcourt; Portland Museum where we found James Sansom’s diaries; the British Library and Wellcome Libraries; Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne and Gill Horitz from Wimborne Community Theatre.

We’ve used a new simpler type of blogging system which we beta tested for indie developer Janis Rondorf of Instacks software.

Posts created as simple text files are dropped into a folder on the webserver without the need for complicated formatting making it easy to upload material quickly.

We’re always happy to share more details about our work - email us using the link at the bottom of the page and we’ll get back to you.

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