Resurgam: Barbara's Story


By Erin Black


Underneath North Hill lies Portland Square air raid shelter. Suffering a direct hit by a bomb in WWII, 76 people lost their lives. Learn one woman’s remarkable story.

Erin Black Online


In March 1941, St Andrew’s Parish Church was bombed and badly damaged. Amidst the smoking ruins a headmistress nailed over the door a wooden sign saying simply Resurgam (Latin for I shall rise again), indicating the wartime spirit.

That notion of wartime spirit really struck me when I came into contact with Barbara Mills, one of the most inspirational women I have had the pleasure of meeting. Barbara and her family were taking shelter in the infamous Portland Square Air Raid shelter on April 22nd 1941, and this film details the story of what happened on that fateful night.

Resurgam: Barbara’s Story is the feature piece of an ongoing collection of documentary work to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Plymouth Blitz. This project also contains a series of interviews from individuals who lived through World War II. Covering topics such as gas masks, street bombings and rationing, Resurgam aims to shed light on the day to day aspects of wartime living. I’m very invested in showcasing the fascinating stories from this extraordinary time, and talking to the people that helped to shape the world we now live in.

I hope to continue to meet more members of this generation, and be able to document the memories they have, so would love to hear from anyone that has something to share.