A MULTIMEDIA exhibition celebrating the role of women during the First World War opens in Oswestry is set to open.

The exhibition, ‘Homefront Heroines’, which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will open on Thurdsay (March 14) at Qube Gallery.

It will show a collection of stories, costumes, photographs and artefacts that illustrate the lives of Oswestry women during the First World War.

Visitors will be able to learn stories about their lives and the vital work they carried out as part of the war effort.

The stories include the life of Cissie Pugh who bore 18 children, of which 17 survived.

Cissie ran the Cross Keys pub in Burlton, and at the age of 93, became the oldest licensee in the UK.

The exhibition is the culmination of months of research by a dedicated team of local volunteers.

More than 50 participants have taken part, including members of The Crafty Knitters and Oswestry Borders U3A Art Appreciation Group, under the watchful eye of project researcher and art lecturer, Sarah Gathercole.

Sarah said: “The volunteers have done fabulous work, gathering information from local sources including the Oswestry Guildhall archives.

“They’ve found out about the first ‘home nurses’, the teachers, local entertainment providers and law and order.

“We’ve even found records of women being prosecuted for swearing in the street. It’s all fascinating stuff and definitely not to be missed!”

A new website for the Homefront Heroines will provide a permanent online legacy and archive so that current and future generations can learn about their heritage.

Qube arts officer, Vanessa Baldry said: “It’s important that we recognise the strength and determination of these women in these difficult times.

“This was an important period in British history when women’s roles were changing fast. They may not have had the freedom, respect or equality we have today, but strong female characters were emerging.

“These women were pioneers and should be an inspiration to girls and young women today.”

The exhibition, Homefront Heroines, is at Qube Gallery, Oswald Road, Oswestry from March 14 until April 29.

The Homefront Heroines website is at www.homefrontheroines.org.uk.

To contact Qube call 01691 656882 or visit the www.qube-oca.org.uk