Family History

Life during a war

Lorna’s Story

In this moving and thought provoking short film, we explore an important period in Lorna Cole’s life. She offers a very personal view of what life was like during the Rhodesian War. It’s easy to look back and think that many of us haven’t lived a life like that. Its true, we haven’t, but in our experience, many so-called “normal” experiences in life are just as interesting. It depends on how you tell the story.

This short film was part of a larger project to document Lorna’s life story. Gwyn Cole of Still River Films has spent many years working to create a series of films as part of a family history project. The Rhodesian War was a significant event in all those that were apart of it. Sadly, the history of the country is being lost in time. Lorna’s first home after she was born was a pole and dagga hut made from straw, wood and mud, far out of reach in the African bush. Her parents were part of the pioneers, the early settlers, who helped build Southern Rhodesia. Lorna has seen first hand how a country was born at a time when there were no roads or bridges. And she witnessed how the country became the breadbasket of Africa exporting food, not just for Africa, but exporting food to Britain during the Second World War. And she has seen the country get destroyed by thugs, greed for power and murder. Zimbabwe now has over 95% unemployment and is in ruins.

The war was a terrible tragedy on many levels. The security forces lost 1,361 young soldiers and 468 civilians (including many farmers). This short film gives a glimpse of what it was like to live during that time and her views on looking back at the past.

Recording your family history

If you want to document your own family’s stories, then it’s worth getting them recorded soon. Time can easily pass you by when it becomes all too late. Perhaps your father loved books, or loved building boats. Whatever their story is, it would be a lovely keepsake that becomes part of your family history records. We have developed unique storytelling techniques specifically for family history projects; and we can tailor a package specifically for you.

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