War widows share their stories

From left, Chris Tinker, June Riley, who is a Portsmouth resident whose husband was in the Royal Navy, and Dr Nadine Muller of Liverpool John Moores University at the War Widows' Stories project, National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard                 Picture: Chris Moorhouse
From left, Chris Tinker, June Riley, who is a Portsmouth resident whose husband was in the Royal Navy, and Dr Nadine Muller of Liverpool John Moores University at the War Widows' Stories project, National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Picture: Chris Moorhouse

WAR widows have shared their stories as part of a mission to capture history.

Lecturer Nadine Muller is trying to give war widows a voice and change perceptions on who they are. 

She said: ‘So many people think of war widows as elderly women with husbands in the second world war but the term includes everyone who has had a spouse die.’

June Reilly from Portsmouth was widowed at 32 when her husband Barry was out on navy exercises and fell into the water.

The 71-year-old said: ‘I was so angry about what happened and I didn’t get answers for many years.

‘It was negligence that caused my husband to die. I never thought of myself as a war widow.’ 

Trustee of the War Widow Association, Christine Tinker lost her husband in the Falklands.

She said: ‘My husband Dave died at the end of the war so by then they had got better at telling people the news but at first people found out that a ship had sunk and then everyone panicked about their husbands.’

Nadine added: ‘It is important to remember how far war widows have come but it is only recently the pensions have changed and we still need to shout to get make sure everything about pensions and the way war widows are treated is fair.’