East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s museums, libraries and archives services will present a series of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Throughout 2014 a programme of exhibitions and talks will focus in particular on the effects of the war on life in the East Riding.
Dr David Marchant, East Riding of Yorkshire Council museums registrar, said: “The First World War was a global conflict and its consequences shaped the world we live in today. Agriculture and the economy, shipping and trade were all seriously affected and women were drawn into new areas of work, such as munitions, to replace the men who had gone to war.
“Civilians also experienced the war through direct enemy action such as zeppelin raids. For the men who served, there was not only the Western Front with the horrors of trench warfare, but also combat in other more unfamiliar places such as the Middle East, which redrew many political boundaries.
“We aim to tell the stories of East Riding men and women and examine how they were affected by the conflict.”
Councillor Richard Burton, portfolio holder for civic wellbeing and culture, added : “It’s vitally important that we mark this hugely significant anniversary. We must never forget the contribution made by people of the East Riding in what turned out to be a conflict that changed the world for ever. I would urge people to visit at least one of these events this year if they can, to learn more about the War and acknowledge the role played by this area.”
Event highlights will include:
While they’re gone – East Riding Countryside in the Great War’ (29 April – 30 September), an exhibition at the historic Skidby Mill museum, created by volunteers and depicting the impact of the war on agriculture and the local economy.
‘Keep the home fires burning – how the First World War was felt in Beverley’ (27 June – 28 November) at Beverley Guildhall following its refurbishment. The exhibition will examine the hospitals, munitions work and home front in Beverley, incorporating the changing role of women and stories of local men who served at the fronts.
The lesser known aspects of the conflict will be explored in ‘Cavalry, Camels and Camaraderie: The East Riding Yeomanry in the Great War’ (12 July – 20 September) at the Treasure House in Beverley. Through original photographs, diaries, uniforms and artefacts this exhibition will tell the story of a local Territorial Army regiment and its campaign in Egypt and Palestine. This will be supported by taster displays at libraries across the East Riding.
On 4 August, East Riding Archives will present the Great War Local History Forum at the Treasure House in Beverley. This one off event will offer members of the public the chance to meet local historians and find out how to kick start their own research project, whether it’s to trace an ancestor or investigate a war memorial.
Volunteers at Goole Museum have created ‘Goole and the Great War’ (29 August – 25 November), an exhibition focusing on the town’s role as a port and the effect of the war on life in the town.
Beverley Art Gallery will host ‘In Memoriam: Reflections on War’ (22 September – 22 November) by Martin Water. This contemporary art exhibition will explore themes of memory and conflict through paintings, prints and installations. Visitors will also be invited to share their own stories on the Memory Wall.
For full details of the event programme visit www.museums.eastriding.gov.uk.
The event schedule for Sewerby Hall and Gardens will be released later in the year.