American soldiers in Sefton, 1942-1945

This talk is delivered by Euan Withersby

Between the Spring of 1942 and the end of 1945, Liverpool and the surrounding areas became both a temporary home and a destination to visit for tens of thousands of American soldiers, also known as ‘GIs’.

Three distinct groups of US Army troops arrived in the area that is modern day Sefton. Logistics troops arrived to make Sefton a distribution hub for millions of tons of supplies, from boots to bullets and from troops to tanks; Army Air Forces personnel came to take time away from the air war over Europe and also supported the essential work being done far from the frontline airfields; Field Army troops descended in huge numbers to await their role in the invasion of north-west Europe in 1944.

This talk will take you on a journey around wartime Sefton from the docks of Bootle to hotels of Southport, and to a few more places besides. You’ll see where the troops were based and what those places have become today. You will meet some of those GIs, far from home, and the occasional famous visitor who arrived to buoy their spirits. You will be able to appreciate the impact GIs had on the people of Sefton and, of course, the inevitable and occasionally controversial clash of cultures.

Period items along with plenty of pictures and information will help bring to life the experiences of being an American soldier in Sefton and the tasks they had to undertake.

There will be a question and answer session at the end of this talk.

Euan Withersby is a historian and former lecturer who researches and writes about the US Army in Liverpool and Lancashire as well as subjects as diverse as Second World War British airfields and Air Raid Precaution signs. He has contributed research to several authors and organisations to support their activities in furthering understanding of wartime Britain.

Ancient Worlds Talks

The Ancient Worlds evening talks take place on the first Wednesday of every month and are a brilliant way to delve deeper into our exhibitions programme. The talks are delivered by a wide range experts and offer insight into their field.

Evening talks are for members of The Atkinson Development Trust, however non-members are welcome for a fee of £5 (please pay cash on the door). Children under 16 go free (must be accompanied by and adult). Students go free (must show their student card).

See the full talks programme here.

The Atkinson Development Trust

The Atkinson Development Trust is a charity (no: 1161020) whose vision is to develop The Atkinson as a centre for communities to enjoy art and learn together.

There are many ways you can support, including becoming a member, sponsoring a seat and donating.

The support that we receive from a wide range of donations and grants plays a vital role in enabling The Atkinson to enhance our visitors experience and tell the story of Sefton.

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