New WW1 display to open at museum

Recruits on Fenkle Street, Alnwick,
Recruits on Fenkle Street, Alnwick,

A major new First World War exhibition opens at Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum on Tuesday.

Lest We Forget: 1914 will be staged at the town venue until Sunday, August 31.

The display records the events leading up to the outbreak of the conflict.

It also looks at the reaction in Alnwick and district to the war and the stories of the men who left home to serve their country.

The exhibition will feature the role of local people, the voluntary services, including nurses, and recruiting and training of volunteers, as well as the arrival of military personnel in the town.

Touching letters sent home from men at or on their way to the front-line which were published in the Alnwick and County Gazette will also form part of the commemorative exhibition.

There will be evocative images of the time, as well as original wartime memorabilia.

Exhibition-goers will find out what happened to German vessels in Amble Harbour and learn about the Bantam Battalion.

They will also be able to read the diary kept by a Northumberland Hussar and an account of a soldier’s voyage to Egypt.

To complement the exhibition, there will be a special ancestry workshop, plus a war-themed talk (see right) at the venue.

Museum trustee, Jane Mann, said that she is pleased that the venue can stage the exhibition to help mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

She added: “Bailiffgate wants to pay its tribute to the men and women in 1914 and we know local people want to find out more about their own relatives so I advise them to come along to the exhibition or attend the workshop or talk.

“We hold a lot of information about the war on the Home Front and I think people will be surprised at the presentation of this early part of the war.

“We know a lot about the trenches, but life changed irrevocably for all whether they went to war or not.

“For example, there is a really interesting section on the nursing units and the various buildings turned into hospitals.”

On Saturday, July 19, Jane Glass holds a Tracing Your Ancestors in the First World War workshop.

Jane will help people to trace the role their relatives played in the conflict.

The workshop runs from 10am to 1pm and costs £10 per person.

On Tuesday, August 26, Derek Gladding presents a talk at 7pm, entitled WW1 – The Early War of Movement.

It will explore the period of British retreat from Mons and Le Cateau and its ultimate significance to both sides in the overall conflict.

Tickets are £5. To book a place at either/both of the events, call the museum on 01665 605847. The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, plus bank holiday Mondays, 10am to 4pm.