The tale of an extraordinary local woman who reported on the conditions in prisoner of war camps during the Second World War will be featured in a new exhibition at Erewash Museum.
The Hope Robinson Letters collection and her remarkable story will be the centrepiece of the exhibition this autumn.
Hope, from Ilkeston, published a pamphlet on the conditions of the prisoners in the Far East after interviewing two repatriated escapees which gave details of life in a camp near Bangkok. This came at a time when families were starved of information on loved ones, including Hope, whose husband was a prisoner of war, and gave vital information to anxious relatives.
Letters began pouring in to Ilkeston and Hope kept all the correspondence, a collection of more than 2,000 letters which give an emotional insight into the experiences of families of British prisoners of war during the Second World War.
Conservation work has been ongoing since the letters were donated to the museum by Hope’s daughter Penny Aldred. It will be the first time visitors can view some of the letters on display and learn more about the incredible archive.
The ‘Letters of Hope’ exhibition opens at Erewash Museum on Thursday 14 November and will be in place until April 2020.
Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Mike Wallis, said:
“This will be a highly emotive exhibition which gives an incredible insight into the day to day lives of those who were seeking information on loved ones in the prisoner of war camps. Hope’s story is fascinating, detailing both the anxieties and memorable stories of families awaiting news of their missing relatives. ”