Food, Family & Home in WW1

This conference explored how housewives, children and the home played a part in played a part in producing, preserving and preparing food for both the Home and War Fronts during World War One.


  1. Organised by the Women's History Network (Midlands), this conference took place at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings on 5 March 2016.
  2. The event brought together over 90 academics, teachers, students and those working and volunteering in heritage organisations or on community projects, to share their ideas, discoveries, interests and research. Our programme of talks was complemented by displays and exhibitions from community history groups.
  3. The Dig for Victory campaigns of WW2 have a firm place within popular consciousness yet the similar activities engaged in by people on Britain's Home Front in the Great War, when food became a weapon of war, have hitherto received little attention.
    The speakers were:
    Professor Karen Hunt - University of Keele: ‘The Kitchen is the Key to Victory’: Women, Food and the Great War
    Jennifer Doyle – Kings College, University of London: Everybody’s talking about food: food and women’s magazines in the First World War
    Dr Stella Hockenhull- University of Wolverhampton: Everybody’s Business: Film, Food and Victory in the First World War
  4. At the end of a day there was a panel discussion and Q&A: Researching Home, Food and Family
    Chaired by Jenni Waugh – Community History consultant and project co-ordinator for WW1 in the Vale (HLF-funded project)
    Dr Janis Lomas - Independent Researcher
    Julia Letts – Oral Historian and project co-ordinatorfor The Great Blackberry Pick (HLF-funded project)
    Susanne Atkin - independentresearcher participating in WW1 in the Vale (HLF-funded project)
    Professor Maggie Andrews -University of Worcester and Voices of War andPeace Community Engagement Centre lead on Gender and the Home Front
  5. Community heritage exhibitions and contributions were provided by the following projects:
    - Bishampton World War One Remembered,Worcestershire (HLF-funded)
    - Croome100: The Croome Estate during the Great War, an independent research project by Susanne Atkin, in association with WW1 in the Vale and NT Croome
    - Droitwich Library and Ombersley, Wychbold,Hindlip & Tibberton First Schools: The Great Blackberry Pick (HLF-funded)
    - Feckenham Remembers, Worcestershire (HLF-funded)
    - Hempstead Primary School, Gloucestershire: The Schools Blackberry Pick (HLF-funded)
    - Herefordshire Archives & Museums Service: Herefordshire's Home Front
    - Derby: Six Streets WW1 Project (HLF-funded)
    - Museum of Cannock Chase, Staffs: schools activity looking at how the War came to the Chase (WW1 training camps and PoWcentres)
    - NT Croome Plumlines project, Worcestershire (HLF-funded)
    - Pershore WI and Pershore Heritage & History Society: WW1 in the Vale (HLF-funded)
    - Rotherwas Munitionettes project, Herefordshire (HLF-funded)
    - Staffordshire Archives: Digitisation of the WW1 Tribunal papers
    - Worcestershire Archives & Archaeology Service: Worcestershire WW100 (HLF-funded)
    - Worcestershire Poets: Life after the War and the Spanish Flu

  6. Conference organised by the Women's History Network (Midlands Region) and supported by the Economic History Society, Voices of War and Peace WW1 Engagement Centre and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
    To find out more about the Women's History Network, see:
  7. The event was filmed by Clear Picture Productions and material will shortly be posted online.