The Centre could not have been established without the support of its Patrons and Benefactors and it continues to thrive with the added benefit of Sponsors and the commitment and dedication of its Staff, Volunteers and Trustees.
More than 10,000 men and women from across the world have shared their wartime memories with the Centre. These recollections are preserved, in our archive in Walton near Wetherby and a small but growing selection is presented here on our website.
The Second World War Experience Centre was supported Financially at its formation by a group of Benefactors, several of whom continue their support to this day
Much of the work in gathering, conserving, cataloging and researching the Archive is done by Volunteers. Housing of the Archive, digitising, cataloging and conservation materials and a very small paid staff necessary to support the Charity, assisting research and enquiries is funded entirely by charitable donations and bequests.
Since its inception in 1999, the Centre has become a unique resource for anyone researching the Second World War in all its facets.
Television companies, students and family historians. Many authors and historians, including James Holland, Antony Beevor, Patrick Delaforce, Ken Tout, John Nichol and Charles Glass, have made use of our collections and have acknowledged the Centre in their books.
Our volunteers, in many regions of the UK, visit those with wartime memories to conduct recorded interviews and collect donated material whilst a team of Centre based volunteers ensure the collections are properly preserved and catalogued and accessible to visitors. We are a registered charity and rely on donations to continue our vital work preserving this wartime heritage.
Please contact the Centre if you would like more information about our collections and our work.
You can donate online here , or perhaps become a Friend of the Centre and support us with a small sum monthly or annually which also gives you full access to the informaton on the site, a copy of our Journal each time it is released during your active Friends Membership and discounts on other Centre material.
The Centre has also contributed material and research to several national and regional television programmes including BBC and commercial radio, the national and local press and specialist history magazines. We have welcomed visitors from all over the world, many who lived through or served in the Second World War. In our Visitors Book men and women have listed as their background, for example, Dunkirk, El Alamein, Cassino, D Day, Arctic Convoys, SOE, The Liverpool Blitz, Munitions work, Bomber Command, Far East POW and Auschwitz to name only a few.
The Centre is committed to sharing our collections with anyone, especially the younger generations so that they can begin to understand what it was like to live through this conflict. We have produced two education packs for Key Stage 2 schoolchildren and a DVD, A Film of Wartime Memories, for young people.
We currently welcome visitors only by appointment – if you would like to volunteer, donate memories or access some of the recollections held in our archive please contact us at the Centre.