Last Chance to Visit Weston-super-Mare Museum’s First World War Exhibition

There’s just one week left to visit Weston-super-Mare Museum’s First World War exhibition, ‘Five Lives, Five Stories: North Somerset People and the First World War’.

The exhibition looks at the impact of the First World War on the lives of five North Somerset people, tracing their stories before, during and after the war.

 

•Weston-super-Mare Museum Image courtesy of Weston-super-Mare Town Council

Weston-super-Mare Museum               Image courtesy of Weston-super-Mare Town Council

The people who feature were selected because of the diverse roles they played during the war:

  • Robert Cruse (1878-1917) who fought with A Company, ‘Bristol’s Own’, 12th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
  • Edith Graves-Knyfton (1876-1964) who worked as Vice-President for the British Red Cross for Weston-super-Mare District
  • Alfred Leete (1882-1933) who designed the most iconic image of the First World War showing Lord Kitchener
  • Harry Mogg (1860-1929) who led Mogg’s Military Prize Band at recruitment events and fundraising concerts
  • Beatrice Page (1889-1972) who was the first female tram driver in the country

Entry to the exhibition, which runs until Saturday 13 December, is free. The museum is open 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

For further information please visit Weston-super-Mare Museum, Burlington Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1PR, call 01934 621028 or email museum@wsm-tc.gov.uk.

Picture Credits:

Robert Cruse                  Image courtesy of North Somerset Council

Edith Graves-Knyfton     Image courtesy of Graves-Knyfton Archive

Alfred Leete                     Image courtesy of North Somerset Local Studies Collection

Harry Mogg                     Image courtesy of North Somerset Council

Beatrice Page                 Image courtesy of Press Association Images

 

Your Country Needs You! 100 years old today!

100 years ago today, on the 5 September 1914, the most iconic image of the First World War was first published.

The now infamous drawing of Field Marshal Lord Kitchener by Alfred Leete (1882-1933) featured on the front of The London Opinion magazine accompanied by the words ‘Your Country Needs You’.

Alfred Leete’s artwork on the front cover of London Opinion magazine, 1914

Alfred Leete’s artwork on the front cover of London Opinion magazine, 1914

 

This image was later adapted into an unofficial recruiting poster by the magazine with the words ‘Britons [Kitchener] Needs You’. In 1917 it was also adapted into an American version with the words ‘Uncle Sam Needs You’.

Alfred Leete’s artwork adapted into an unofficial recruitment poster, 1915

Alfred Leete’s artwork adapted into an unofficial recruitment poster, 1915

 

By 1914, Alfred was one of the best commercial artists in the country. Having grown up in Weston-super-Mare he had moved to London in 1899, aged just 17, to establish himself as a commercial artist. At first he struggled to get his work accepted by the national papers and magazines. He kept trying and soon many publications, including Punch, Tatler, and The London Opinion, were regularly publishing his drawings.

Alfred Leete at work, c1910-1920. (North Somerset Local Studies Collection)

Alfred Leete at work, c1910-1920.
(North Somerset Local Studies Collection)

 

Interestingly, his image of Lord Kitchener gained most of its popularity after the First World War had ended. From the 1920s onwards it really began to capture people’s imaginations. It has been used as the inspiration for many new posters including one with Churchill’s face in the Second World War. Other adaptations were produced in Australia, Canada, South Africa, India, Italy, Austria, Germany, and Bolshevik Russia.

‘Did you Volunteer?’ poster designed by Dmitry Moor inspired by Alfred Leete’s iconic image of General Kitchener, 1920

‘Did you Volunteer?’ poster designed by Dmitry Moor inspired by Alfred Leete’s iconic image of Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, 1920

 

Alfred died on 17 June 1933 in Kensington, London and is buried in the Milton Road Cemetery in Weston-super-Mare. His drawing of Kitchener is still being reproduced, copied and adapted today.

Weston-super-Mare Museum volunteer recruitment poster, 2012 (Courtesy of Weston-super-Mare Town Council)

Weston-super-Mare Museum volunteer recruitment poster, 2012
(Courtesy of Weston-super-Mare Town Council)

 

Alfred Leete is currently featuring in the exhibition ‘Five Lives, Five Stories: North Somerset People and the First World War’ at the Weston-super-Mare Museum until 14 December 2014. Many of his original artworks are on display. Entry to the exhibition is free. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. For more information please ring 01934 621028 or email museum@wsm-tc.gov.uk.

New First World War Exhibition at the Weston-super-Mare Museum!

A new exhibition, entitled ‘Five Lives, Five Stories: North Somerset People and the First World War’, opened to the public on Saturday 7 June at the Weston-super-Mare Museum.

The exhibition looks at the impact of the First World War on the lives of five North Somerset people, tracing their stories before, during and after the war.

weston

 The five people featuring are:

  • Robert Cruse (1878-1917) who fought with A Company, ‘Bristol’s Own’, 12th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
  • Edith Graves-Knyfton (1876-1964) who worked as Vice-President for the British Red Cross for Weston-super-Mare District
  • Alfred Leete (1882-1933) who designed the most iconic image of the First World War showing Lord Kitchener
  • Harry Mogg (1860-1929) who led Mogg’s Military Prize Band at recruitment events and fundraising concerts
  • Beatrice Page (1889-1972) who was the first female tram driver in the country

The five were selected because of the diverse roles they played during the war. 

 Visitors enjoying the exhibition


Visitors enjoying the exhibition

Entry to the exhibition, which runs until Sunday 14 December, is free. The museum is open 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

For further information please visit Weston-super-Mare Museum, Burlington Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1PR, call 01934 621028 or email museum@wsm-tc.gov.uk.

Behind the Scenes: preparing for ‘Five Lives, Five Stories’

Lots of work has taken place behind-the-scenes in preparation for a new First World War exhibition at the Weston-super-Mare Museum. The exhibition, titled ‘Five Lives, Five Stories: North Somerset People and the First World War’, opens to the public on Saturday 7 June.

Over the past few months staff at both the Somerset Heritage Centre and Weston-super-Mare Museum have been hard at work researching interesting stories, choosing images and objects for the displays, and writing labels and captions.

Bethan Murray (Documentation Officer) and Freya Ward (Somerset Remembers Project Officer) place a British Red Cross nurse’s uniform on a mannequin.

Bethan Murray (Documentation Officer) and Freya Ward (Somerset Remembers Project Officer) place a British Red Cross nurse’s uniform on a mannequin.

There is now just one month to go until the exhibition opens, so this week we have been carefully unpacking all the objects which will go on display. We will then lay-out the displays and prepare mounts for any objects which need them.

Freya Ward (Somerset Remembers Project Officer) carefully unpacks a set of Alfred Leete sketches.

Freya Ward (Somerset Remembers Project Officer) carefully unpacks a set of Alfred Leete sketches.

The exhibition looks at the impact of the First World War on the lives of five North Somerset people, tracing their stories before, during and after the war. The people who feature are:

  • Robert Cruse (1878-1917) – fought with A Company, ‘Bristol’s Own’, 12th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
  • Edith Graves-Knyfton (1876-1964) – worked as Vice-President for the British Red Cross for Weston-super-Mare District
  • Alfred Leete (1882-1933) – designed the most iconic image of the First World War showing Lord Kitchener
  • Harry Mogg (1860-1929) – led Mogg’s Military Prize Band at recruitment events and fundraising concerts
  • Beatrice Page (1889-1972) – the first female tram driver in the country

These five people were selected because of the diverse roles they played during the war.

Five Lives, Five Stories: North Somerset People and the First World War will be on display at the Weston-super-Mare Museum (www.westonmuseum.org)from Saturday 7 June to Sunday 14 December 2014. Entry to the exhibition is free. For information about visiting the Weston-super-Mare Museum please call 01934 621028 or email museum@wsm-tc.gov.uk.