Last chance to see Ripon Cathedral's exhibition honouring the contribution of women in World War Two

There is still time to see the moving exhibition.
There is still time to see the moving exhibition.

An exhibition honouring the sacrifices and extraordinary bravery of women in World War Two is proudly on display at Ripon Cathedral.

The last chance for readers to see the collection of eye-catching floral hats is on Saturday.

It is part of a national campaign Raise Your Hats, which aims to capture and tell the remarkable stories of the contributions women made in World War Two.

Arranged by the Ripon Cathedral Flower Guild, the exhibition has already attracted a huge amount of interest from visitors to the Cathedral from across many generations.

Also on display is a collection of thank you letters to those whose contributions were unrecognised and unrecorded at the time.

The Dean of Ripon Cathedral, the Very Rev John Dobson, said: “I am very pleased that we are hosting this exhibition at Ripon Cathedral.

“The focus of our vision for mission here at the cathedral is Growing God’s Kingdom. We believe that Jesus wanted fullness of life for everyone and we delight in helping people to celebrate the efforts of the known and unknown to enhance the life of fellow men and women.”

The Cathedral has joined the Raise Your Hats campaign in helping to drive forward a ‘hunt for a heroine’ project - inviting people to seach for their own family stories by speaking to relatives and looking through memory boxes.

Families can submit their stories through the campaign’s website, which was created thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and support from Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith.

The Cathedral helped to officially launch the website on the first day of the exhibition on July 21.

The website aims to educate current and future generations about the part women played in the war, and their many and varied roles.

Hundreds of letters, photos and tributes were posted at an exhibition in Ripon Cathedral for the VE70 commemorations in 2015. A website built by Ripon Grammar School students also attracted 100,000 hits.

Peri Langdale, who brought Raise Your Hats to the Cathedral, said: “We were stunned at the level of interest but most of all, by the number of people who wanted to share their family stories, often for the first time. Many were touching and sad. We realised there is a need for a national online archive like this and we are so grateful for the support of Julian Smith, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Ripon Cathedral.”