War memories wanted for new website
The memories of Second World War veterans are being collected for a new interactive online map.
The creator hopes the website will become a permanent collection that can be used by generations of families and academics to listen to unique war stories.
Videos uploaded to the site are tagged and placed on the map according to the location discussed in the memory, allowing people searching for information on a particular region or battle to find all the relevant videos bunched together.
The idea came from Falklands veteran Tony Banks, who now runs Balhousie Care Group in Scotland.
The 51-year-old, from Dundee, who took part in Channel 4 show The Secret Millionaire in 2009, has funded the online project after listening to the stories of men and women who live in his care homes.
Mr Banks said: “The experiences of some senior military personnel were recorded and shown to great effect in documentaries such as The World At War, but these represent only a fraction of the story.
“With every week which passes, the wartime generation grows smaller, and unique memories correspondingly disappear.
“As someone who has served in a war and now works in a sector which cares for older people, and therefore regularly hears residents’ stories on the extraordinary period between 1939 and 1945, I was inspired to create a site that allowed for these memories to be easily recorded for posterity.”
Veterans living in Balhousie homes were among the first to share their memories of the war on the website.
It is hoped family, friends and carers of other veterans across the UK and beyond will record more memories on smartphones and tablets to add to the map.
Memories from those who worked or were evacuated during the war are also wanted, along with those of service personnel.
Mr Banks added: “Whether the memories recount the horror of conflict or the realities of life on the Home Front, I hope that people from across the world will grab their smart-phones and take the opportunity to film and document the memories of older generations, ensuring that their experiences are understood and never forgotten.”
The interactive map can be viewed at www.ww2videomemories.com.
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