Learning about life during the blitz

From left, Paul Stanley, Jo Crisp, George Heasman, Mercedes Bevan, Luke Galea and Bethany Bevan from Highbury College

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A GROUP of history students spent time speaking to elderly people to learn about their experiences during the Second World War.

The third year students from the University of Portsmouth ran an oral history project investigating life in Landport during the war.

They talked to residents about their memories of evacuation, rations, the blitz and the Landport community spirit.

The project was organised by the Saint Agatha’s Trust in partnership with the university and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Student Alex Snow said: ‘Ordinary people often don’t get their voices heard so it’s been lovely to work with former residents to record their memories.

‘The people we interviewed had such vivid memories of life during and after the Second World War we had some really interesting conversations, which have given us a whole new rich resource of historical data.’

During one of the conversations Edna Francis recalled the time she was rescued by a stranger during an air raid.

She said: ‘They were machine gunning me so I ran and knocked on someone’s door, the stranger opened the door and pulled me in. There was a great sense of community spirit at the time.’