HOME FRONT PORTRAYALS
Home Front History prides itself on promoting the portrayal and remembrance of all those who lived through the war years, each in their own way making a contribution to the freedom we now take for granted.
Although Armed Services re-enactors enjoy a high profile, the Home Front is becoming more popular with many re-enactors, who now portray all aspects of civilian life and the emergency services, including Police, Air Raid Wardens and Red Cross Nurses.
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Help us to help others recreate and remember the Home Front Heroes.
Re-enactors always add an extra dimension to living history event including dances, 'War on the Line' railway events, memorial services and parades. Their efforts help to educate the public about the way it was ' during those far off, yet desperate days'.
Whether you decide to portray a serviceman or servicewoman or a civilian, it's best to make sure you have a very good understanding of the role of that person.
It's one thing to 'dress the part' and another to be able to 're-enact' the person convincingly in front the public. So a good starting point for every portrayal is research and the internet is probably the quickest and easiest way forward.
Tom Lewis who portrays Home Guard and Red Cap said, "The Home Guard portrayal is based on my grandfather who was in the Crowthorne Home Guard and although my family has quite a lot of information about him I checked out things like the protocols used by the service in that area.
As with all service personnel either Armed Services or Home Front Emergency Services, it's important that your portrayal is based on actual events and procedures in each theatre of operation. What was acceptable in Edinburgh for example may not have been the recognised procedure in Southampton.
So research the people involved and what happened in the area they served in."
Useful resources in addition to the internet, which are available in most areas, include libraries and branches of the Royal British Legion. A 'Letter to the Editor' of local newspapers appealing for information is a tried and proven way of reaching some very useful contacts.
There are a large number of re-enacting groups throughout the United Kingdom and in our experience, most are very happy to receive enquiries about kit, protocols and training opportunities associated with their specific portrayals.
However more and more, groups are diversifying and have members portraying a mix of civilian and service personnel as well as a mix of Allied and Axis forces. Welcome additions to the re-enacting community in recent years include Postmen, Vicars, Farmers and shopkeepers, so there is always the opportunity to portray a character other than those portrayed in larger numbers.
When you have decided what portrayal (s) you are happy with you can, by adding period photographs, ephemera and personal items, create an authentic story about your character. For example, your wallet could contain a period bus ticket, a cinema ticket, some photographs, a book of stamps (reproductions are available), some paper money (original and reproductions widely available) and so on.
Family portrayals are also becoming more popular, with the children taking the role of evacuees, Mum is perhaps WVS (Women's Voluntary Service) and Dad is home on leave from the Services.
From a young paratrooper to a member of the Home Guard, an ARP Warden to a Fire-fighter and a member of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) to a Nurse, you will fit in and be very welcome.
Good luck in your research, don't forget to email us, we will do what we can to help.
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