Sharing Stories of the First World War

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to display items relating to Stratford during World War One as part of the RSC’s ‘Sharing Stories of the First World War’ event on Saturday 8 March.

04 March 2014

People are being invited to check out a range of items which relate to Stratford-upon-Avon’s involvement in World War One on March 8. Hear more about the story of local prominent family and businessman – Fred Winter whose son Eric fought in the Great War, as well as local lads Herbert Jennings and Victor Hyatt who studied at King Edward VI and who both featured in Shakespeare’s war play Henry V before going off to fight.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Collections team has assembled the special collection of original documents, artefacts and medals, which will be on display at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) ‘Sharing Stories of the First World War’ event taking place in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 10am-3pm. Items include copies of the letters home from Stratford soldier Eric Winter, the Talbot Scrapbook which was put together by nurse Kathleen Talbot during her time on the wards of Clopton House War Hospital. A special copy of Shakespeare’s Complete Works, which was given to injured soldiers in a bid to provide personal solace and comfort, will also be on show.

Helen Cook, Community Engagement Co-ordinator at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “To mark the centenary of World War One we want to show the people of Stratford just how the town was affected by the four years of conflict. As the Trust holds the local history archives for Stratford and South Warwickshire dating from 1150 to the present day, there are lots of hidden stories that we want to tell. “

In preparation for its forthcoming production of The Christmas Truce, inspired by events that took place 100 years ago, the RSC is inviting the public to share stories and memories of their families’ involvement in the First World War. Anyone who knows of their family’s connection to the First World War or would like to know is welcome to come along to ‘Sharing Stories of the First World War’, a drop-in event. Those attending are encouraged to bring photos, letters or any other items about their stories.


Notes to editors:

Press release date: 4 March 2014.

For more information please contactPress and Public Affairs Officer Nurinder Mantell on 01789 207132/07824 137638 or email

For more press information about ‘Sharing Stories of the First World War, please contact Dean Asker, RSC Press and Communications Officer on 01789 412660,

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no regulargovernment funding public subsidy or direct government funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.