Dartmoor, Devon and World War Two

the impact of World War Two on rural Devon Lives

MED Theatre are proud to have been awarded a National Lottery Grant for Heritage for this young people’s and community project, with thanks to all players of the National Lottery for making this possible. 

DARTMOOR, DEVON AND WORLD WAR TWO will begin in November 2019 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the second world war. In an effort to preserve precious heritage, in the form of the memories and first-hand experiences of the local wartime generation, this project will offer the opportunity for younger members of the rural Devon communities to carry out research and oral history interviews that can be used in the creation of various creative outputs. 

Please revisit this page regularly for updates on the project’s progress and any opportunities to be involved (see below.) 


You can keep updated with the progress of Dartmoor, Devon and World War Two by listening to our podcast, created on a monthly basis by the young people steering the research elements. Click on our logo to the left for a link to the podcast page, where you can currently hear the first episode! 

project outputs and Timeline

ONGOING: Regular Podcast Episodes Released for public download. (See above.) 

Nov ’19 – Feb ’20: Research trips and training opportunities for young people

Jan – Dec 2020: Oral History Interviews – to be held wth local war veterans and those who were present in rural Devon during and in the aftermath of World War Two.


Feb ’20 – April ’21: Two-hander play toured to Devon schools, education centres, residential homes and day-centres etc.

June 2020: Young People’s Residential – recording of an audio play from a Dartmoor residential centre.

Nov 2020: Young People’s Production.

March 2021: Community Play Tour across Devon  


Dartmoor National Park

The National Trust (Castle Drogo)

Historic England

South West Lake’s Trust

Moretonhampstead Historical Society


AgeUK Exeter

The Plough Theatre


Running Deer Forest School

Fiona Macbeth (Exeter University)



The following topics are key to the research phase of this project, which will be available on this page in the coming months:

  • Interruptions to normal life
  • Evacuees and seeking safety on Dartmoor
  • Land use, agriculture and Dartmoor as a training ground
  • Life in rural Devon after the war


MED Theatre will be carrying out oral history interviews and story collections over the coming months. Please let us know if you or a friend or family member have any stories or memories you would like to share with us. 


On Tuesday 14th January MED Theatre’s young company, Wild Nights, had a visit from local historian Tom Greeves. The young people learnt about local soldier training, both of English and American troops, about the methods of getting groceries to local farms, about evacuees coming to the area and many other topics. You can listen to their monthly podcast, coming soon for the months of January and February, to hear more.