Audio stories from the Home Front

Well Remembered: Herefordshire men and women relate their experiences of the First World War

The stories are based on original recordings made by the county reminiscence group, Herefordshire Lore and Herefordshire’s Home Front in the First World War by Bill Laws.



Alternatively, if you’d like to book a free MP3 player to listen to the audio stories during your visit, please contact Hereford Cathedral on 01432 374212 or

Thank you to the Eveson Trust, a charity which supports projects for people with disabilities, for generously funding the MP3 players to support our audio stories.

The Conscientious Objector read by Marsha O’Mahony  (duration 6.14)

Stanley Powell was charged under the Defence of the Realm Act in 1916 when he mounted a protest against the war at the annual May Fair. His conscientious objection was given short shrift in court and he was eventually court martialled.

The Farmer read by David Warnes  (Duration 5.05)

The farming suffered badly during the First World War. Farmers lost their men, their horses and much of their land, which was put to the plough. Robert Bellamy survived four years abroad, only to catch Spanish flu just as the Armistice was declared.

The Little Refugee read by Bill Laws  (Duration 3.54)

Among the 250,000 Belgian refugees who arrived in London at the start of the war was a toddler, Irene Stewart. She became known as the Little Refugee.

The Munitioneer read by Shona Warnes  (Duration 5.05)

Annie Slade came up from the valleys to work 12 hour shifts as a munitioneer at the National Filling Factory in Rotherwas. Exposure to the chemicals turned her hair and skin yellow: “They called us canaries”.

The Soldier read by Colin Crawford  (Duration 4.56)

Percy Pritchard was a veteran of Gallipoli, the Camel Corp and the newly-formed Flying Squadron. He met King Farouk and Lawrence of Arabia in the Middle East, but also witnessed some tragic events. He experiences them all with quiet acceptance, until the death of his dog.

Herefordshire Schools First World War writing competition  (duration 0.55)

An art and writing competition for schools was held in Herefordshire on the theme of the First World War. Over 400 entries were received, including some remarkable poetry and prose. 

These are some extracts read by students from Whitecross High School and Specialist Sports College:

Dear Diary: by Libby
The Horses War: by Isla
The Animals of the Battlefield: by Cameron
Rain: by Katy
Times of Loss: by Sophie
The Trenches: by Callum
In the Trench: by Archie
Touching My Daughter’s Hand: by Ayesha
The Telegram Boy: by Katie  

You can see the competition entries at various locations in Hereford

Thank you to all the children and young people who took part in the competition and to all those who helped produce these incredible sound bites.

Audio description for Poppies: Weeping Window

For the first time an audio description of the sculpture has been produced for the visually impaired.

Listening to the clip you can also find out more about the cathedral, how the sculpture was created and enjoy the splendor of the sculpture from afar.

Alternatively, if you’d like to book a free MP3 player to listen to the audio description during your visit, please contact Hereford Cathedral on 01432 374212 or

All images are under copyright to © Getty images and © Herefordshire Council

Herefordshire schools remembering WW1

To commemorate the current Herefordshire Home Front campaign, Kym Wilcocks, chair of governors at Longtown Community Primary School and a member of the Hereford Diocesan Board of Education, was inspired to create an arts and writing competition for the county’s schools.  The aim of the competition was to enable today’s children to mark the sacrifice of those who fought in the First World War 100 years ago.

The children and young people could submit art or writing relating to the First World War, covering any aspect of their choosing, for example: the Home Front; war or individual battles at sea, on land or in the air; life on the front and in the trenches; the use of animals or rationing.

40 schools from across the county took part in the competition and the standard of work submitted was absolutely amazing, which made for a very difficult but enjoyable judging session last month.

The following schools are all winners, runners-up or highly commended:

  • Aylestone School
  • Ewyas Harold Primary School
  • Fairfield High School
  • Gorsley Goffs Primary School
  • Hereford Cathedral School
  • Kingstone and Thruxton Primary School
  • Much Marcle CE Primary School
  • Peterchurch Primary School
  • St Mary’s RC High School
  • St Michael’s CE Primary School
  • St Paul’s CE Primary School
  • Stretton Sugwas C of E Academy
  • Weobley Primary School
  • Weston-under-Penyard CE Primary School
  • Whitchurch CE Primary School
  • Whitecross High School and Specialist Sports College
  • Wigmore School

The schools of the winners and runners-up will receive a prize, generously sponsored by the Tabor Charitable Trust, while every child who submitted an entry will receive a certificate and those whose work has been framed, will also receive this as their personal prize.

To enjoy the children and young people’s displays of writing and artwork, please visit the following locations in Hereford up until Saturday 28 April (Monday to Saturday 9am – 4pm):

All Saints Church (High Street)

Hereford Museum and Art Gallery (Broad Street)

Hereford Cathedral (Cathedral Close)

Hereford Framing Centre (Broad Street)

Doughty’s (Church Street)


To find out more about the free Home Front exhibitions available across Hereford, visit


Night time photography opportunities

If you’re a photography enthusiast, with a passion for night time photography, Poppies: Weeping Window will be open until 10pm on the following dates*

Tuesday 27, Thursday 29 March and Friday 20 April
The cathedral will be lit inside until 9:30pm

Wednesday 4, Saturday 14 and Wednesday 25 April
The cathedral is likely to be dark inside

Don’t miss this opportunity to get some stunning unique shots.

* The safety barriers will not be in place until 10pm on these dates, to help you get the best photos possible.

Please note: You are welcome to take photographs and videos or make artworks of Poppies: Weeping Window for personal use only.

Volunteers…..We need you

We’d like to introduce Jo Henshaw, our volunteering co-ordinator, who is recruiting and supporting our wonderful volunteers, who will help make Poppies: Weeping Window at Hereford Cathedral an even more amazing experience.

Jo has lots of experience working with volunteers through her roles on community heritage, learning and arts projects in and around Herefordshire and she’s not an entirely new face to Hereford Cathedral, as she supported us during our successful Cathedral Close development project.

We asked Jo why she’s so passionate about her role:

“This really is a tremendous occasion for Herefordshire.  We’ll need over 150 wonderful volunteers to help visitors have the most memorable and enjoyable visit possible, when they come to experience the Poppies: Weeping Window and Home Front exhibition.”

“We need volunteers to cover a range of different and important duties, including looking after the Poppies and visitors during the day, as well as helping at events and activities at the Cathedral and other sites across the city for the six weeks the Poppies Tour is in Hereford.”

“We’re aiming to keep the volunteering shifts short (around two hours), so it doesn’t take up your whole day, but if you wanted to volunteer for longer, we’re more than happy to work around your availability.  If you can spare some time and want to be part of this once in a lifetime experience in our beautiful city, then I’d love to hear from you.”

If you’re a local business which encourages and supports your staff to volunteer, then please get in touch with Jo and the team.

To find out more or to volunteer, simply contact Jo on 01432 374200 or or fill in our online form

Exciting News!

Herefordshire Council and Hereford Cathedral are pleased to announce the arrival of ‘Weeping Window’ by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. The cascade of thousands of individual ceramic poppies will appear at Hereford Cathedral from 14 March 2018 until 29 April 2018 as part of the final year of 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies. 

The Weeping Window poppy sculpture will be free and open to the public, while a series of special events will be hosted at the cathedral and other venues as part of the Herefordshire Homefront campaign.

The presentations by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, give people across the UK the chance to experience the impact of the ceramic poppy sculptures in a range of places of particular First World War resonance. The tour has been made possible by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Backstage Trust, the Clore Duffield Foundation and the National Lottery.

The men and women of Herefordshire made a huge contribution to the war effort,from the brave young men recruited into the Herefordshire Light Infantry – among them Allan Leonard Lewis who was awarded the Victoria Cross- to the Canary Girls who filled munition shells at the Rotherwas Munitions Factory, and the farmers who provided food for the country and the Front, as well as horses for the movement of soldiers and supplies.

Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Cllr David Harlow, said

“It is so exciting to welcome the Weeping Window poppy sculpture to Herefordshire. We expect to attract up to 2,000 visitors a day to see the artwork, explore Hereford Cathedral and the city. As a proud military county, it is an honour to be able to mark the sacrifices made by those during the First World War.”

The Dean of Hereford said

“It is a great privilege for us to host this very special sculpture, which will mean such a lot to so many people. This is a remarkable accolade for the cathedral and for the county, building on our already proud military history and current links with the armed forces. We look forward to providing through Weeping Window an additional focus for prayer and reflection as we near the end of the commemorations of the World War One Centenary.”

Weeping Window is from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The installation was originally at HM Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one for every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War.

Together, the sculptures Wave and Weeping Window are made of over 11,000 poppies. At the end of the tour they will become part of the permanent collections at the Imperial War Museums.

DAF Trucks are the transport sponsor for the UK presentations, and 14-18 NOW are delighted to partner with DAF on making this historic project a reality. The learning and engagement programme for the poppies tour is supported by the Foyle Foundation.

Page Image – 14-18 NOW Poppies_Tower of London -¬ Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces

(Photo: Hereford Cathedral © Shutterstock)