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Photo from the Imperial War Museum
A poster from the Dig for Victory campaign

Press Release - 08 November 2007

Public lecture: Dig for victory in wartime Britain

Britain’s wartime ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign will be discussed at a free public lecture at the University of Bath on Wednesday 14 November (5.15pm to 6.15pm).

Russell Bowes, a garden historian, will explain how in 1940 the government called on every man and woman to keep an allotment to help combat food shortages.

“Dig for Victory looks at the period when England's gardens took on the might of Hitler's armies,” said Mr Bowes. “Gardens great and small, public and private, saw clematis give way to cabbage and roses replaced by radishes.”

Lawns, flower-beds and vast areas of public land were turned into vegetable gardens, producing nearly a million tonnes of vegetables in the peak years of production.

Mr Bowes will look at the advice and propaganda given to gardeners and discuss the role of the ‘forgotten army’ of Land Girls who worked on farms across the country.

Mr Bowes completed the University of London Diploma in Garden History at Birkbeck College in 2003 and has studied extensively at the Museum of Garden History, London. He is a keen practical gardener with an interest in historic plants.

Admission for the lecture is free and people can just turn up on the evening. Free parking is available in the West Car Park. The lecture runs from 5.15pm until 6.15pm in 8 West 1.1 on the Claverton campus.

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