How war changed life for women

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

THE im­pact of WWI on women’s lives is the sub­ject of a Chapel Gallery ex­hi­bi­tion and project to com­mem­o­rate the end of the war.

Open­ing the Gates, which also marks 100 years of women hav­ing the vote, will fo­cus on sto­ries and char­ac­ters with strong links to West Lan­cashire.

It of­fi­cially opened on Satur­day (Oc­to­ber 6) and is planned to run un­til Jan­uary 19.

The ex­hi­bi­tion will show how dur­ing the war years or­di­nary women were thrust into oc­cu­pa­tions pre­vi­ously only oc­cu­pied by men and how, ul­ti­mately this, com­bined with the suf­frage move­ment, led to those women gain­ing the vote.

The project will il­lu­mi­nate lo­cal her­itage through archive pho­tographs, let­ters, news­pa­pers and ob­jects.

It brings alive the her­itage of lo­cal women who had ac­tive roles dur­ing WWI, such as those who served abroad as nurs­ing and Army aux­il­iaries, demon­strat­ing their con­tri­bu­tion to the war ef­fort, and their brav­ery.

Archive films from the Im­pe­rial War Mu­seum in Lon­don will also be shown. Her­itage talks take place on Oc­to­ber 12, Novem­ber 9 and 23, and Jan­uary 8. Fam­i­lies with a con­nec­tion to the war are in­vited to help ex­perts with their re­search, or join guided tours on Oc­to­ber 13 and Novem­ber 3.

To book places call 01695 571328 or email­

West Lan­cashire Bor­ough Coun­cil runs the gallery and has se­cured £10,000 from Her­itage Lot­tery to de­velop the ex­hi­bi­tion in part­ner­ship with Edge Hill Univer­sity and Orm­skirk and Dis­trict Fam­ily His­tory So­ci­ety.

The so­ci­ety’s archive ma­te­rial of pho­tographs, let­ters, lo­cal news­pa­pers and other doc­u­ments will be used in the ex­hi­bi­tion.

In part­ner­ship with the univer­sity’s creative writ­ing depart­ment, the gallery will aim to ex­plore the im­pact of this pe­riod of his­tory on women’s lives to­day by com­mis­sion­ing writ­ers to cre­ate work that ex­plores the no­tion, “for bet­ter or worse”.

This will ex­am­ine the im­pact the roles West Lan­cashire women took on dur­ing WWI had on their 21st Cen­tury coun­ter­parts 100 years later.

Lo­cal schools can also take part in free tours and ed­u­ca­tion work­shops, which can be booked by call­ing 01695 571328 or For more de­tails, visit email www.west­ west­ ww1.

Im­ages from the ex­hi­bi­tion on women’s work and fight for the vote in WWI

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