Last Friday I was lucky enough to attend The War Widows’ Stories ‘in-conversation’ event at The National War Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire. Hosted by Dr Nadine Muller, with expert guests Irene Shiels and Sue Stout who shared their personal, frank, moving, at times funny, always informative, accounts of being a war widow.
Giving us the long-view was Professor Andrew Hopper who sharing his fascinating research on widows of the English Civil War.
Nadine explained: No two stories are the same, there is not one stereotype of a war widow- but there are powerful connections, emotions, thoughts and experiences…
I hope the following give a flavour of the afternoons conversation- the real rewards come from being there- if you are able I urge you to come along to the next (and final) in-conversation event on 2nd November at the Imperial War Museum North.
I was a member of the RAF for 17 years, but when my husband died I realised I was an associate member…and then they took the membership away. I had lost my family, not just my husband, but my whole way of life. Irene
With poppies now on sale for the forthcoming Remembrance Sunday, we spoke of the how we remember…
It’s not November the 11th, it’s everyday. Irene
You can either live your life, or slip down under it. Mary
They spoke of the power and support of the War Widows’ Association…
Never underestimate the power of the collective. Those people that you never wanted to meet become friends and family. Don’t underestimate how much speaking to people who have the same experience has, how valuable that is. Sue
United we stand. That is what has brought improvements, not just financial- it’s what we can do if we all work together. Irene
You can find out more about this important, fascinating project at War Widows’ Stories.