Salute to women of the First World War:

Oldham Advertiser - - NEWS - RUHUBIA AKBOR

THE sto­ries be­hind the women of the First World War are to be re­told in a new project.

Old­ham Li­brary and the Old­ham Coli­seum theatre have teamed up to un­earth the roles lo­cal women played in the war ef­fort.

They are now look­ing to the public to help them dig up in­for­ma­tion and fill in the gaps.

Pupils from Hodge Clough Pri­mary School have been in­ves­ti­gat­ing the town’s war memo­ri­als with vis­it­ing ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Alison Fell, of Leeds Uni­ver­sity.

And mem­bers of the Coli­seum’s Full Cir­cle Group have been hunt­ing for clues at the Lo­cal Stud­ies and Ar­chives Cen­tre.

Coun Cath Ball, as­sis­tant cabi­net mem­ber for the cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tion, said: “We are hop­ing res­i­dents of all ages get in­volved as we want to en­cour­age peo­ple to ac­cess the free re­sources avail­able within the li­brary and ar­chives cen­tre and also on­line.

“Some peo­ple read­ing this might know more in­for­ma­tion about women from this pe­riod. If any­one has any in­for­ma­tion, we’d love them to drop in and let us know.”

Theatre direc­tor Joyce Branagh will be lead­ing work­shops as a re­sult of the re­search. She said: “There has been a lot of talk of the First World War over the past few months, but most has cen­tred on the men who went to war.

“This project is about find­ing out about lo­cal women and what they were do­ing dur­ing those years – try­ing to run a home, work­ing in mu­ni­tions fac­to­ries, or as nurses, lo­cally or abroad.

“So far we’ve found out about a nurse Sarah Hal­lam, who went off to Bel­gium to work with the Red Cross; a mu­sic hall singer, Sarah Rose­bury, who was known as ‘The Lan­cashire Lass’ and we’re try­ing to find out more about Ma­bel Drinkwa­ter, a young woman who is hon­oured on Old­ham War Me­mo­rial – which is very un­usual.”

Email Joyce at Old­ham- Women@ya­ or email keith.snape@old­ with in­for­ma­tion

Hodge Clough Pri­mary pupils with Prof Alison Fell ex­plore Old­ham’s War Memo­ri­als as part of the Old­ham Women in First World War project

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