Sidmouth’s Marjorie records documentary about growing up in WW1

PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 22 January 2018

Marjorie Hodnett is sharing her memories in a new series of short documentaries about life growing up World War One.

Marjorie Hodnett is sharing her memories in a new series of short documentaries about life growing up World War One.


A centenarian from Sidmouth has become the star of a short documentary sharing her memories of growing up in the First World War.

Marjorie Hodnett’s storytelling abilities were noticed at Sidmouth Museum’s suffragette tea party, where she recalled the work of her activist great aunt.

The museum asked the 103-year-old if she would share her stories, which include memories from when she was as young as three.

Marjorie said: “I really didn’t know my father when he came home [from the war], I was only two-and-a-bit when he went. The other recollection is being at the front door of our house in Halsden and a sense of excitement, hearing the world Zeppelin. That sort of stuck in my mind. It was probably one of the first words that I was conscious of.”

She said she would encourage people to write down their memories as it helped to reinforce them.

The Abbeyfield Court resident added: “I would definitely recommend recording your memories - why not? You might have something very interesting to tell.”

Sidmouth Museum recorded the first DVD in November and also plans to record Marjorie’s memories of life in the 1920s and the Second World War. Ann Tanner, from the museum, said Marjorie’s memories were a ‘big resource’ to show what life was like as a civilian in wartime.

Ann said: “The museum wants to get Marjorie’s take on as many things as we can, because it is just so important. You cannot let this resource go. To have a memory like this is incredible.

“What Marjorie is doing for us now is writing about her experiences as a civilian, a normal civilian in the Second World War and how it affected her. She is very cleverly linking it in to the various bombs the Germans invented, taking you into another chapter.

“That was the majority of people and it’s a very interesting way to look at it and we just wanted to get that down.

“We are going to film it again because someone has to tell it and someone has to keep it. It is about the ordinary people in the wars.”

The DVDs will be on sale in the museum later this year.

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