World War veterans and relatives invited to share stories for Military Museum Scotland project

The ‘Boots on the Ground’ initiative will launch on June 15.

By Elsa Maishman
Saturday, 30th May 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Saturday, 30th May 2020, 9:22 am
Picture: Military Museum Scotland
Picture: Military Museum Scotland

Veterans of both world wars and their families are invited to share their stories with the Military Museum Scotland for a new project.

‘Boots on the Ground’ will record video interviews for a DVD to teach children about first-hand accounts of the wars in schools around the UK.

The museum plans to visit care homes and other centres to record as many WWII veterans as possible, and will also speak to relatives of veterans who can tell stories based on memories or diaries and letters.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Material gathered will also be kept in paper format at the museum so that visitors can look through it.

Museum Curator Ian Inglis said: “The Boots on the Ground has been an idea of mine for a few years, but its taken until now to try and get things moving. It will take funds to get all the equipment we need, but we will get there.

“I planned to visit care homes, day centres etc, interviewing and filming residents as they tell theirs stories. I will then build a digital archive of all the interview and then make them available to schools, and the public.

“We want to tell the story of individual service men and women, who have served their country in the military. Maybe they kept a diary, or when back home wrote memoirs, you may have a copy of their war record or some photographs.

“At this time of lockdown, we all have time on our hands, maybe you are having a clear out and come across some paperwork or old photographs, maybe some mementos. This is the kind of thing that Military Museum Scotland Boots on the Ground appeal is all about. Let Military Museum Scotland tell these stories.”

During lockdown the museum has continued a number of its activities, especially those focused on reducing isolation.

The ‘Veteran’s Drop-in’ which allowed veterans to meet up at the museum has transferred online, with veterans keeping in touch via social media and by phone.

The twice-monthly Breakfast Club run at the museum by Mr Inglis is also continuing, with veterans invited twice a month to post a picture of their Sunday breakfast to the museum’s Facebook page, so that others can comment and create a virtual conversation.

Anyone who would like to share their story is asked to write to [email protected]