Donations rise with war centenary

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Remembrance Day outside St. George's Hall in Liverpool. Photo: Ida Husøy

Remembrance Day outside St. George’s Hall in Liverpool. Photo: Ida Husøy

An exhibition to mark the centenary of the First World War has seen a surge in donations made to Prescot Museum.

The ‘Local Heroes, Distant Voices’ exhibition celebrates the achievements and sacrifices made by Knowsley servicemen, and encourages their families to share stories to highlight the impact the war had on the area and surrounding communities.

Karen Green, Knowsley museum and galleries manager, told JMU Journalism: “There’s so much press surrounding the 100-year anniversary, I’m surprised by the growth. Our exhibition has such a famous background – and it involves the community, so it interests them too.”

There are nine displays in the exhibition, each focusing on one serviceman and their story. Every display contains photographs and artefacts which have been donated, along with pieces already from the museum collection.

As well as the individual displays, dozens of other heart-breaking stories are told through separate audio interviews and individual objects.

Karen added: “It’s very moving, there’s lots of photographs and items behind glass cabinets, it’s not a typical gallery exhibit. It’s great to actually see it and find out more.”

One story on show is that of Joseph Bray, a soldier who lied about his age in order to serve overseas. Although his deception was discovered and he was sent back to Britain, he later returned to the frontline once he came of age. During this time he found a book of poetry on the battlefield and sent one in a letter to his mother. Weeks later, on October 15th 1918, he was killed in battle. The letter, amongst his medals and photographs are on show as part of the display.

Ms Green said: “The exhibition has been on show in two galleries, so it’s very cross marketed. I think it’s great because of how big it is, there’s even a children’s area so they can read and learn about it.

“It’s not all about the First World War, it also includes the stories of modern day war heroes.”

The Local Heroes, Distant Voices exhibition will be on display until 14th November. It is also available at Kirkby Gallery.

About Emma Marsden, JMU Journalism