War Widows’ Stories (2018-20)

question of survival

Every year, we celebrate and commemorate the lives and sacrifices of those who have fought and fallen in service for their country. Still, we know little about the lives and experiences of the wives and families that service personnel and veterans leave behind. They are not commemorated as heroes. We do not talk about their fights and struggles when we remember the wars Great Britain has fought over the centuries. 


Wendy Hutchinson with photo of her husband Tony

arthur+martha are proud to have been awarded a grant from Arts Council England to be part of the War Widows’ Stories project. Collaboratively we will make an embroidered quilt and a collection of poems, which we will exhibit at iconic venues.

The project will give expression to and raise public awareness of war widows’ experiences, allowing participants to frame their lives through the arts, see themselves differently, acknowledge their experiences, and build a creative legacy, a shared history.

War Widows’ Stories is led by Dr Nadine Muller, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University and author of The Widow: A Literary & Cultural History (2019).  Lois Blackburn will lead arts workshops and collaborate on the quilt, Philip Davenport will lead on the creative writing.

We are proud to be collaborating with the War Widows’ Association of Great Britain (WWA), an organisation that has been working tirelessly to improve the conditions of war widows and their dependants since 1971.

Joan Eggmore with Photograph of Husband (10 April 2017)

Joan Eggmore with a photograph of her husband Dougie

The project is supported by Arts Council England, the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, Liverpool John Moores University, Royal Museums Greenwich, the Imperial War Museums, the National Memorial Arboretum and the Heritage Lottery Fund.  


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