WW2 and Hampshire

World-War 2 D-Day and Hampshire’s Connections

Hampshire is steeped in naval and military history and many aspects of it are gradually emerging as we traverse across time and place seeking to connect and share with others, interested in the history of Hampshire overall. We are of course aware and mindful that there are many resources online about global aspects of the World Wars and subsequent conflicts and its impact on so many lives and the dreadful human costs that such conflicts exact. Our scope and focus here is simply to explore what happens within and via Hampshire. To help make the information more accessible and relevant to anyone with an interest in or a connection with Hampshire.

D-DAY Map Hampshire Starting and gathering Points

The original D-Day Map Room set for D-Day 6th June 1944

Hampshire History’s Focus on D-Day and WW2

What happened where (within Hampshire) or via it, to whom and how, and why with a connection to Hampshire and the WW2 period 1939-1945 is our scope and focus,. We aim to seek, share and explore the historic events, projects, resources, sources and experiences available as we discover and encounter them and learn about them over time. If you are of a certain age, and we are, say 50+ whilst not having directly experienced and lived through  WWII ourselves it has remained a heavy cloud, a spectre and weight we knew our parents and grand-parents struggled to survive through. It has impacted on our lives, if somewhat indirectly, but for the next generations as living memories disappear how will they relate and learn from the tragic mistakes that lead to the last resort of declaring war on a global scale. Perhaps a local dimension will help younger people as well as ourselves connect so that vitally our society can move on and base its future on an accurate record of what happened and learn from our historic grave mistakes and the impact on each and every family and person these events impacted on.. Sadly, as we have all seen WW1, failed to be the war to end all wars and regional conflicts continue around the world, often unabated for fear of escalation and a repeat of the horrors that have gone before. In any event this 5 year period cannot be easily ignored if you visit, live-in or have a connection with Hampshire , but more of that later.

D-DAY 70 and 100th Centenary of WW1 a time for deep reflection. It is an opportunity to not only honour but engage, debate  and for us all to learn across our communities that have been touched directly or indirectly, at some point the connections between Hampshire and both world wars.

Here is this section and collection we want to consider WW2 overall and specifically D-Day itself and its impact on Hampshire, its people, current and past whether permanently resident, stationed here or passing through to frontline action or supporting on the Home front they are all significant to us. Alongside our own projects (including our ongoing Digital Gazetteer, Bibliography, Interactive Maps) we will aim to help share and promote at least some of the many worthy projects being developed and researched by individuals and community groups as well as the specialist galleries,museums and archives devoted to this specialist theme. This year (2014) alongside the important WW1 Centenary there is also the 70th commemoration of D-Day. Portsmouth on the South Coast and much of its surrounding area was involved in and key to the planning preparation and execution of the D-Day landings. It was much more than just an embarkation point, it was a hub and gathering point. Hence this will be our starting point inspired and perhaps galvanized into action to make our own small contribution to helping us better understand what happened, why and what lessons we can each personally and collectively learn from along the way.

Bounded by Hampshire and its connections but rounded to reflect WW2 and specifically the D-Day Operations for anyone interested in social, local, family and the wider history of this historic county and its role within British History.

What you might find here; the people that inhabited it and also passed through Hampshire, in service and civilian life. events, projects , maps, records and resources which might help us all better comprehend what happened in Hampshire, where, when and why.