We are proud to display examples of sets of World War Two material from the Centre’s collections. From this section, visitors can access WWII biographies, audio-clips, documents and photographs, of individuals selected from different sections of the archive from all branches of the services (Allied and Axis) and civilian experience at home and abroad.
Go to ‘Donate items to SWWEC‘ for further information on how we take the utmost care of the material and how to contact us if you have WW2 material or memories to contribute to any section of the Centre’s archives.
All material held within the www.war-experience.org website is copyrighted to the Second World War Experience Centre or to the donor/lender of the material. None of the material on this site should be reproduced without prior written authority from the Second World War Experience Centre.
War at Sea
The Centre’s naval collection holds a rich and varied cross-section of maritime experience. Memories, photographs and other documents of individual seafarers are featured on these pages, illustrating the various aspects of life at sea during the Second World War, including the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, Fleet Air Arm and navies of the different countries involved. We also focus on the substantial commitment made by women’s services. Please also take time to visit the Key Aspects section to read more on the different naval campaigns, including the ill-fated convoy PQ17 and personal experiences relating to the harsh conditions of the Russian convoys.
War in the Air
The Centre’s archive collections relating to the War in the Air contain material relating to diverse aspects of aviation experience from fighter pilots and bomber crews to the ground staff responsible for their safety and the support provided by the women’s services. The collection encompasses the various countries caught up in this conflict and we are proud to hold the archives of the Mosquito Aircrew Association. Please also take time to visit our Key Aspects pages to look in more depth at the varied campaigns involving air force support that we plan to include in the coming year.
War on Land
The Centre has a substantial collection illustrating life in the Army during wartime and this material is also incorporated into our Key Aspects section including personal experiences of the campaign in North Africa. The collection encompasses the various countries caught up in this conflict and we are proud to include stories relating also to the women’s services in this section all in biographical form and supported with relevant photographs, audio-clips and documents.
The Second World War also affected those who did not serve in the forces. Men, women and children in many countries experienced unprecedented changes to their lives and their memories of this time are a vital element of the Centre’s archive collections. Biographies, photographs and other documents illustrate the impact this conflict had on the civilian way of life from evacuees to internees, factory workers and the Women’s Land Army. Please take time to visit our Key Aspects pages, where our Home Front holdings are also featured.
The Mosquito Aircrew Association Archive (MAA)
The Archive was formed in 1991 under the enthusiastic leadership of Eric Atkins DFC KW and acquired from it’s membership a considerable quantity of archival material including the production documents of “the Mossie” magazine produced three times a year for several years.
During 2001 the Archivist of the MAA, Mr G R T Willis MBE DFC progressively passed its archive material in to the care of SWWEC – keeping the memories of the remarkable crews of this legendary aircraft alive.
The CANLOAN Scheme
In the fall of 1943, a scheme was devised whereby Canadian Infantry Officers could volunteer to serve with Regiments of the British Army. This came about due to the many campaigns fought by the British Army, half way around the world, which resulted in a shortage of junior officers, while the invasion of North-West Europe was imminent.