World War II was brought to life through the ‘Village at War’ event at the Rural Life Living Museum (RLLM) in Tilford.

It was held from May 11th to May 12th and RLLM describes the event as ‘one of the premier second world war re-enactment events in the UK’. More than 1,000 visitors came out for the weekend and some dressed up to fully immerse themselves in the experience.

RLLM said: “Village at War is now the Rural Life Living Museums longest running flagship event and is intended to share with the public what a village in the South of England might have looked like with the massing of troops on the eve of D-Day.”

Adam re-enacting a fire crew member
Adam re-enacting a fire crew member (RLLM) (RLLM)

Around 350 military and home front re-enactors participated from the American Army and Airborne to a RAF plotting room, Home Guard and National Fire Service. Activities included air raid demonstrations, historical talks, dance lessons and a motorcycle ride out.

Vintage singer and voice over artist Stephanie Belle provided entertainment with an array of songs from the period that got people up and on the dance floor. Dances included line dancing and the Jive which became popular during the 1940s.

Stephanie Belle singing with some of the re-enactors
Stephanie Belle singing with some of the re-enactors (RLLM) (RLLM)

“I had an absolute blast! Stephanie said. Thank you to all that danced and sang along with me and a huge thank you to Captain Dave and all at RLLM for you hard work,” she added.

Both days began and ended with the Raising of the Colours ceremony on the village green.

People take to the dance floor
People take to the dance floor (RLLM) (RLLM)

An attendee said: “A great time and very knowledgeable re-eactors proudly sharing their knowledge.”

Village At War will return next year.

Coming up next month visitors will be able to experience the 17th century as the RLLM plays host to Lord Hopton's regiment and Paddington bear is set to make an appearance.

Motorcycle ride out
Motorcycle ride out (RLLM) (RLLM)