Volunteers set up war memories exhibition and seek living voices at ‘Memories Morning’

A GROUP of volunteers have researched and are about to stage a new exhibition about memories of World War Two in Thurrock.

The free exhibition presented by Thurrock Museum Volunteers will be in the ground floor exhibition space of the Thameside Complex from Monday, 22 July to Friday, 9 August (closing at 11am on 9 August).

This exhibition, entitled ‘WWII Memories of Thurrock’ features many images from the Thurrock Museum archives, Thurrock Gazette of the time and other local sources. There will also be photographs from family collections, and visitors will be able to recognise people and places.

As well as providing interest, it is hoped this exhibition will prompt memories from those who remember the second world war first hand, and others whose family members either fought, volunteered or experienced the war at the home front.

Images include bomb damage to property and businesses across Thurrock, children who were evacuated from local schools to other parts of the country for safety, home front information and the peace parties which were held at the end of the war. Many of the children were evacuated from their school to Suffolk and Norfolk; they went with their classmates to Tilbury Docks then by boat.

On arrival they were billeted with local families. Ships played other important roles; the Royal Daffodil was used as a troop carrier and the Exmouth was camouflaged at Scapa Flow. One bomb landed in Cromwell Road, by the now-existing Thameside Complex, causing significant damage to the surrounding area and loss of life.

On Wednesday, 24 July the volunteers are holding a ‘Memories Morning’ at the exhibition from 11am to 1pm where local people are invited to come in and share their personal memories of wartime Thurrock.

Memories are being collated for future exhibitions, and it is hoped that eventually they will be published in a booklet.

Pictures used in this article:

  • Reginald Corrie Hurrell – Lyndsay Morris (friend of Thurrock Museum)
  • Roy Bloss – Odette Stevens (Thurrock Museum Volunteer)
  • Bomb Damage Thurrock, exact location unknown – Thurrock Museum
  • Thurrock School Evacuees – Thurrock Gazette
  • VE Party Highfield Gardens, Grays – Mike Lee (Thurrock Museum Volunteer)
  • The Royal Daffodil – Sherwin Chase Collection

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