Tickets Still Available for the Somerset in the First World War Research Symposium

On Sunday 22 March the Museum of Somerset will be hosting a symposium focusing on a wide range of research relating to the events of 1914-1918 and the effects on the county of Somerset. 

Please contact the Museum of Somerset today to book your place 01823 255088

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The speakers and subjects include:

Mary Siraut – Taunton 1914-1918

Sue Bucklow – Singers of Frome

Phil Norrey – The Somerset Light Infantry and the Early Stages of the War

Mary Claridge – Glastonbury WW1 Tribute Project

Brendon Moorhouse – Research into Somerset Light Infantry at Ypres

Tim Moreman – The Isle of Wedmore Remembers Project

Sam Astill – Somerset Remembers Project

Suzie Grogan – The Impact of the First World War on Mental Health

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Somerset Remembers on Tour #3

On Monday  22 December the Somerset Remembers touring display and showcase were removed from Glastonbury Abbey, the last venue for this exhibition.

The display consisted of three identical banners and two showcases with eight different objects. This allowed it to be seen in 30 venues across Somerset.

The tour started in March at Taunton library, and the first showcase was displayed at Chard Museum in April.

Banner and Show Case at Chard Museum in April

Banner and Showcase at Chard Museum in April

The display was designed to promote the project throughout the county and the temporary exhibition at the Museum of Somerset.

It was also used by venues to complement their own First World War exhibitions.

In Frome Museum in October

The second set of objects as seen in Frome Museum during October

A wide variety of venues displayed the exhibition including major county events such as The Royal Bath & West Show in May, and RNAS Yeovilton Air Day in July.

It is estimated that over 85000 people visited the touring exhibition during 2014.

Last Chance to see Somerset Remembers Exhibition

There is just a couple weeks left to see the Somerset Remembers exhibition at the Museum of Somerset. The exhibition is on display until 3 January 2015.

The exhibition tells the story of how the county was affected by the events of 1914-18 and how people have remembered the war, and those lost in it. It focuses on the wider impact of the war on the county and looks at themes such as women and children, agriculture and local efforts to support troops.

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There are objects, photographs and costumes for visitors to enjoy, as well as telegraphs, medals and weapons. The exhibition also features artwork by Somerset artist Jon England.

The museum is open from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30 pm) Tuesday to Saturday, and Bank Holiday Mondays. Entry to the museum and the exhibition is free.

 

 

 

 

Jon England: Seeds to the Wind – Duty, Honour, Freedom, Sacrifice

Jon England’s centrepiece for ‘Somerset Remembers’ combines two visible symbols of remembrance; the poppy and war memorials. The artist’s work, part of a series entitled ‘Seeds to the Wind’, explores both the visual form and written language of these monuments, while harnessing the symbolic power of the poppy – the number of seeds emblematic of the scale of loss.

Jon England artwork - made from  poppy seeds and varnish

Jon England artwork – made from poppy seeds and varnish

The four words Duty, Honour, Freedom, Sacrifice, repeated on memorials across Somerset and beyond convey how the language of fighting and winning a war continued into memoriam. Presented in this new context these words encourage the viewer to reconsider the status, place and function of memorials and the broader social dynamic explored by ‘Somerset Remembers’.

Duty, Freedom, Honour Photographs courtesy of Jon England

The Somerton memorial, a Portland stone carving of a Royal Artilleryman, epitomises the dedication of communities in remembering their friends, family and brothers in arms as well as representing artistic quality.  It was commissioned from G Cox & Son Monumental Sculptors of Keinton Mandeville and unveiled on 21st May 1921.

Somerton War Memorial c.1921

Somerton War Memorial c.1921

The design of the Somerton memorial, ‘was one of several issued by the War Office for communities wishing to make suitable and accurate memorials to their dead’ leading the artist to question what true freedom existed either in fighting or commemorating the war.

Artist Jon England with his creation

Artist Jon England with his creation

The First World War in 3D: A Stereoscopic Collection

The Somerset Remembers project was recently given a collection of stereoscopic photographs from a lady whose father was in the 1st Battalion The Somerset Light Infantry.

A Stereoscope from the museum collection with one of the postcards. The two images in the photo combine to create one through the lenses providing the viewer with an image with a 3D effect

A Stereoscope from the museum collection with one of the postcards. The two images in the photo when viewed through the lenses combine to create an image with a 3D effect.

These fascinating images entitled ‘The Battle Field Series’ were produced by the Weston- Super-Mare company George Nightingale & Co. The pictures depict various scenes of the immediate post-war landscape in France and Belgium. They often feature people interacting or observing their surroundings. On the reverse of each postcard is a brief description of the location or a more explanatory piece of text.

On reverse: No.20. Hooge Crater Cemetery. In the War zone there are 1,700 new cemeteries. This particular one contains over 11,000 graves, details of each one being carefully indexed by the Graves Committees. Notice the duckboards.

No.20. Hooge Crater Cemetery. In the War zone there are 1,700 new cemeteries. This particular one contains over 11,000 graves, details of each one being carefully indexed by the Graves Committees. Notice the duckboards.

 

No.18. Captured guns at Arras. Various types of German guns are shown here.

No.18. Captured guns at Arras. Various types of German guns are shown here.

 

No.11 British Cemetery Couzecourt.

No.11 British Cemetery Couzecourt.

It has been suggested by the author of The Great War in 3D, that the George Nightingale & Co. may have been set up to provide employment to ex-servicemen due to the timing and nature of the photographs. It is also noted on the reverse of each picture that the ‘Photos are finished and printed entirely by Ex-servicemen at Reflex Studios, Parkstone’ in Dorset.

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Further information about the use of stereoscopic images can be found here:

www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/collection/photography

www.smith.edu/artmuseum/Collections