Events at Hampshire Archives and Local Studies





Dearest Mother: A First World War Story

An event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

An event at Hampshire Record Office on Tuesday 6 November, 6.30pm to 9.00pm, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. John Baines, a Winchester scholar and young Royal Engineers officer, was on active service in France and Salonika during the First World War. Throughout this time he wrote to his 'Dearest Mother', who had read classics at Cambridge before being widowed when John was three, and to his younger sister Honor. The letters give regular updates on his activities in an affectionate, amusing and relaxed way, while disguising the true realities and horrors of war. The work of the Sappers was challengingly different from that of other arms, but equally important. Constructing trenches and defences, putting out wire and demolitions at night, and assault operations into no-man's land were all in a day's work in France. In the Salonika campaign the Sappers were heavily involved in similar front line operations and also in the construction of roads, in the most inhospitable conditions as the letters testify, which were vital to the final strategic success of the Allies. John obviously enjoyed all the challenges he faced in his four years of active service, and writes about them with a delightfully light touch. Through these well-written letters we are able to share in John's military career, his personal and political views, his interest in things classical, his passion for the Lake District, his sense of humour and above all in the love, care and responsibility he felt towards his mother and sister while serving King and country. Andrew Baines and Joanna Palmer, grandchildren of John Baines, will bring to life these fascinating letters through a talk to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Re-enactors from the Right of Line will be on hand as soldiers and nurses demonstrating kit and equipment used during the First World War. An exhibition of original documents will be on display taking you through the First World War with records concerning the Christmas Truce, letters home and diaries of events, both at home and from the various conflict zones. Archive film from the period will also be shown. Tickets will include a drinks reception and nibbles. Price: £14, early bird deal of £12 if booking before 23 October.

  • Cost£14, early bird deal £12.
  • ContactHampshire Record Office
  • Phone01962 846154
  • Book online »

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