History of the Amersham Area

WORLD WAR 1

Amersham-at-War 1914-18

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New recruits in Market Square (PHO9764)

New recruits on the left in Market Square (PHO9764)

 

The museum’s major research project for 2014 was Amersham at War, 1914-1918. We worked to discover and share the story of people from Amersham who went to war (and returned) and the experience of living in the town during the First World War.  We linked in with other WWI projects in the community – particularly the U3A family history group’s research into the names on the Amersham War Memorial – to complement our own research. 

The exhibition: Amersham at War, 1914-1918 travelled to Amersham-on-the-Hill and Little Chalfont in October before returning to the museum in November. The exhibition told the story of life in Amersham during WWI and the experiences of those who went to war. It included models, displays of photos, maps, objects and documents, oral history clips and hands-on resources for children. There was also an opportunity to find out how to research your own family members during WWI.

There were a series of talks and walks to complement the exhibition.

  • The first of three talks was given by museum trustee Christine Standring on Daily Life in Amersham in 1914, a snapshot of the town the young men left behind when they went to the trenches.   This was followed by a talk on The Brazils of Amersham at War  by Annie Hamilton-Pike.  Click here to see videos of the talk
  • A talk about Formidable Women – an impression of the Home Front through the experiences of a group of Chesham Bois women during World War I by Alison Bailey .
  • There was also a programme of guided walks of Old Amersham in November to discover what life was like in Amersham in 1914 and find out about the experiences of families whose loved ones had gone to fight.

This section of the website includes extracts from our research findings, images from our collection, and objects and documents loaned or given to the museum for the project.  See the list of articles in the left hand column.

Find out about those from Chesham Bois who died in WWI .  More information about the 2nd Battalion Oxford & Bucks and the 1st Airborne Defence Platoon is available from Stephen Berridge’s excellent website about the “Light Bobs“, the nickname for the Ox & Bucks light infantry regiment. See also an article about Dr Frederick Mott who was knighted after the war for his work on the treatment of shell shock and learn about the Death Penny.  Amersham Museum has a copy of the service sheet for the dedication of the WWI memorial.

For a detailed snapshot of the people living in Amersham just before WWI, follow the link on the Reference page to an extract from the 1911 census.