MHM’s centenary season continues this month with a wide variety of events, exhibitions, and family activities. From a new instalment at the Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux, to the English Association’s conference on WWI poetry, there is plenty coming up to keep the history enthusiast busy.
SCARBOROUGH MUSEUMS TRUST
On 16 December 1914, German battle cruisers fired hundreds of shells on Scarborough, Whitby, and Hartlepool; an offensive which became known as ‘The Bombardment’. Hundreds died, many were injured, and buildings and homes were destroyed. This attack caused great public outcry, and ‘Remember Scarborough’ became the slogan for an impassioned recruitment drive.
A century on, Scarborough Museums Trust are leading the ‘Remember Scarborough’ regional partnership. A new exhibition about the bombardment of Scarborough opens this summer at Scarborough Art Gallery. The exhibition will feature some never before seen material, and visitors can find out what happened that morning 100 years ago, why it happened, and the ensuing local, national, and even international impact.
Remember Scarborough opens on 26 July.
TEL: 01723 384515
26 July- 4 January
WYLYE VALLEY 1914 PROJECT
This project will portray the arrival in 1914 of thousands of Kitchener’s Volunteers in the Wylye Valley, and how the war affected the local community and Agriculture. The project’s booklet will have the order of battle of the first two divisions, the 25th and 26th Infantry. The 26ft-wide map, assisted by photos and models, will show the layout of their camps. There will be three films describing how the Valley was affected and the activities of the BEF, its neighbouring French armies, and opposing German ones, up to November 1914. Living Historians from the Great War Society, the Garrison Artillery, and the Yeomanry will put on displays. An earth Mode Telegraph will hopefully function, one of its terminals being in a dugout in a 98ft dug trench. The finale will be a drumhead service with an RBL chaplain, band, and standards supported by the Warminster Military Wives choir, with the silence marked by the firing of the Garrison’s 18-pdr.
ADDRESS: Codford village hall and field, Broadlease, Codford, BA12 0PP
Saturday 26 July, 10am-4pm
Sunday 27 July, 10am-3pm
WWII: SOLDIERS & SPIES
Get ready to take cover as this explosive action-packed weekend propels you into wartime Britain.
From the trooper of the D-Day landings to the kitchen maid dishing out meagre wartime rations, prepare yourself as you are drawn into the theatre of war at Station 43.
Fall into step at soldiers’ school, put on your dancing shoes for 1940s music, enjoy the fashion and food, and be blown away at the spectacle of the explosive river assault.
From the sadness and injury of the battlefield to the make-do-and-mend lifestyle of the home front, we will tell the stories behind the battles that shaped the world as we know it.
ADDRESS: Audley End House & Gardens Off London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4JF
TEL: 01799 522842
Sunday 24 and Monday 25 August
SUMMER FAMILY ACTIVITIES AT IWM DUXFORD
Visit IWM Duxford this summer for family activities taking place daily from Saturday 26 July to Wednesday 3 September.
Find out how and why the First World War started and meet a costumed interpreter who will explain which countries were involved and who was on whose side.
Explore our small replica trench, handle objects that would have been used by the Tommies in the trenches, try on mini replica First World War uniforms, and look through the periscope to spy on what’s happening in No Man’s Land.
Visitors aged 15 and under enjoy free admission to the museum.
TEL: 01223 835 000
IWM Duxford is open daily from 10am expect for 24, 25 and 26 December.
LA GRANDE GUERRE: FRENCH PRINTS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
See striking scenes of action in the form of battles, sieges, and air strikes, punctuated by moments of relative repose. These include commemorations, award ceremonies, and depictions of the Allied forces, such as the
English and Scottish taking five o’clock tea and Indian soldiers at prayer.
The prints, shown in chronological order, retell events of the first seven months of WWI from a French perspective – from the taking of the first flag during the Battle of Saint-Blaise La Roche (14 August 1914) to the Fall of Przemysl (22 March 1915).
The exhibition is part of the First World War Centenary Partnership Programme.
ADDRESS: Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1RB
Tuesday 20 May-Sunday 28 September
Sundays and Bank Holidays: Midday-5pm
THE ENGLISH ASSOCIATION’S CONFERENCE – BRITISH POETRY OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
The English Association’s forthcoming conference, British Poetry of the First World War, will be an event to remember. The War Poets continue to exercise great appeal a century after the start of the conflict; their poetry is
read, studied, and admired as much as ever; their lives and deaths continue to fascinate biographers. However, their legacy is sharply contested. Some historians today are vocal in their criticism of the way the ‘poets’ view’ (Max Hastings’ phrase) has created a distorted and negative image of the war. This conference is aimed at all who have a genuine interest in the First World War poets, their writing and their standing today. It has attracted an international range of contributors and distinguished keynote speakers. It takes place in the beautiful and historic setting of Wadham College Oxford, from 5-7 September 2014.
From 5-7 September 2014
MUSÉE DE LA GRANDE GUERRE DU PAYS DE MEAUX
A new exhibition commemorating the centenary of the British involvement in the decisive First Battle of the Marne is now open at the Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux, running until the end of the year.
The Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux opened on 11 November 2011. Devoted solely to the First World War, the collection is housed in over 3,000m² of purpose built permanent exhibition space. The museum’s collection is remarkably diverse, comprising 20,000 objects and 30,000 documents, with such extraordinarily rare items as complete uniforms from most countries involved, alongside weapons and artillery, heavy equipment, objects from everyday life on the front and home front, as well as rich documentary and graphic arts collections.
The temporary exhibition ‘Join Now! British Empire joins war’ runs until 30 December 2014. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events, conferences, educational and family workshops, concerts, dramatised guided tours, and a film debate.
FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY EVENTS AT THE BRITISH ACADEMY
The British Academy is a part of the First World War Centenary Partnership. Join us as we explore the lives, stories and impact of the First World War through events, performances and an exhibition. Join poet-critic Angela Leighton and tenor Andrew Kennedy for a performance of war-time literature and music at King’s College Chapel, and Dr Santanu Das and Dr Kate McLoughlin at a special two-day conference exploring literature, culture and modernity of the First World War. At the British Academy’s home along Carlton House Terrace in London, visit an exhibition about soldiers and nurses personal stories about recuperation inside the same building. And finally distinguished poets – Michael Longley, Andrew Motion and Jon Stallworthy as they read poems from war time Britain and their own works in response on November 12.
FIRST WORLD WAR: REFLECTING ON LIVERPOOL’S HOME FRONT
Running from 23 July 2014 to 1 March 2015, the exhibition will explore some of Liverpool’s lesser-known stories of the First World War, asking visitors to look at this period of history from a different perspective. Featuring a special display on Liverpool’s Black and Minority Ethnic families during the First World War, other key themes which have remained untold over the last century will be examined using historical and previously unseen images. With more than 100,000 men from Merseyside serving, the dramatic shift in social dynamics undoubtedly had an impact on many areas of daily life, such as women’s struggles to manage funds, strikes for wartime wages and working conditions, and a sustained commitment to fundraising. This thought-provoking exhibition will support the Museum of Liverpool’s First World War items already on display in the City Soldiers Gallery and From Waterfront to Western Front exhibition.
ADDRESS: Museum of Liverpool Pier Head, Liverpool, L3 8EN
TEL: 0151 478 4545
Open daily 10am-5pm
Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day
LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM
“Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front”
This major exhibition reveals the untold story of London’s Home Front during the First World War; how drivers took their buses to the Front to support the war effort, how women advanced into the transport workforce for the first time and how Londoners came under deadly attack from the air as total war came to the Capital.
The exhibition brings together objects from several collections for the first time, at the heart of which will be ‘Ole’ Bill’, a 1911 B-type bus No. B43 on loan from the Imperial War Museum. It was one of over 1,000 B-type buses to be requisitioned by the War Department in 1914 for use on the Western Front. After the war it was refurbished as a permanent memorial to the role played by London buses in the First World War. Named after ‘Ole Bill’, Bruce Bairnsfather’s popular wartime cartoon character, it became a symbol of the military and civilian struggle endured by men and women of the London General Omnibus Company and it appeared regularly in the Armistice Day parades until the 1960s.
TEL: 0207 565 7298
To see this feature as it appeared in issue 47 of Military History Monthly, click here.