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Meeting Report - March 2017

Forty-nine people attended the meeting of the Romsley and Hunnington History Society held on Tuesday 28th March, when Michael Pearson gave an interesting talk, illustrated with slides, taken from his book, "The Black Country in the Great War." Although most of the 1914 to 1918 War took place in Europe, it had an enormous effect on the lives of the people in the Black Country.

In 1914 many of the young men were called up to fight and they were drafted into the South Staffordshire or Worcestershire Regiments. This was probably the first time they had left their homes and certainly the first time they had travelled abroad, many of them never to return.

The "Black Country" was already an important centre for industry and never more so, now that the country was at war. The new weapon of destruction, the Tank, was made and tested for the first time in Wednesbury and Oldbury. Many of the factories began making shells and ammunition. The men had all gone to war and so the women, who up until then had worked in domestic service, had to work in the factories, as bank clerks, and even had to drive the trams, which was considered highly dangerous! This gave the ladies a new sense of independence, which resulted in them being allowed to vote.

The production of food became a priority, and everyone was encouraged to grow vegetables and produce more eggs for the Troops, as they realised that good nutrition was essential.

In 1915 the Black Country was subjected to German Zeppelin airship raids, and many lives were lost. Even in those hard times, there was a great deal of fundraising to support the troops, and the great spirit of the Black Country people rose above all the devastation and deprivation, until the war ended in 1918.

Paul Share, our Chairman, sadly announced the death of Barbara Lay, who together with her husband, Edmund, were two of the first members of the History Society.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 25th, at 7.30pm in the Church Hall, when Max Keen will give a talk on, "Richard III." The Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday, 23rd May when the speaker will be our President, Julian Hunt. Everyone is welcome.

 

Pat Evans

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Some contents of this website are taken from the book Romsley and Hunnington, a Millennium History,
written by Joe Hunt and Julian Hunt and published by the Parish Councils of Romsley and Hunnington, in association with the RHHS.

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