A new exhibition exploring recently uncovered stories of those who came to Tyneside from the African and Caribbean diaspora as part of the war effort during the Second World War has opened at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.

Stories of Service: Tyneside’s home front during the Second World War shares new research gathered as part of a national partnership with Imperial War Museums and the Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme, which aims to learn more about underrepresented local stories to make sure they are recorded for future generations. 

The exhibition is co-curated by Dr Beverley Prevatt Goldstein, equalities activist, academic, author and community facilitator, who wrote the recent historical booklet African Lives in North East England

Kylea Little, keeper of history at Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, says: “After a call-out to the public in partnership with Imperial War Museums, we’ve captured stories about some amazing women living in Tyneside during the Second World War. This really deepens our knowledge of everyday life in this area during that time, and will help future generations have a better understanding of what life was like on Tyneside. 

“We’re very grateful to Dr Prevatt Goldstein for working with us to explore these lesser-known aspects of war on Tyneside. We wanted to share the stories of these under-represented people who travelled from the then British Empire to Tyneside and who contributed so much to our communities.”

In the exhibition itself, visitors can find out about people like Josephine Hall, from Byker, who ended up as a core–maker at the steel foundry C.A. Parsons, as well as Mary McDermott, who worked as a conductor or ‘clippie’ on the trams and trolleybuses for the Newcastle Corporation. Other stories include the West Indian seamen based in North Shields and the Nigerian school teacher Robert Ngbaronye who stowed away to Britain and joined the RAF.

Stories of Service: Tyneside’s home front during the Second World War is at the Discovery Museum until October 30, 2022. For more information, click here