Stories of life in the trenches – Hampshire’s WW1 history revisited through community events

Hampshire County Council’s libraries and heritage venues are hosting a range of public events, talks and exhibitions ahead of the centenary of the end of World War One

Oct 5 2018

WW1

Councillor Seán Woodward, the County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, said: “As the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War draws nearer, we are proud to host a variety of fascinating and interactive events to commemorate this important milestone. Hampshire’s military history still strongly resonates in local communities, and many serve in the Armed Forces today.

“The events, performances, exhibitions, workshops and events being held at County Council venues are bringing to life the historical connections each community had to World War One. Through theatre, photography, art, exhibitions and more, people of all ages will get a sense of what life was like, and the sacrifices made on the battlefield and at home, during that time.

“We would encourage residents of all ages and those from further afield to get involved by attending a range of activities which are being held across the county from now until the end of November.”

Events include:

  • 100 words writing competition, Hampshire wide

Hampshire Library Service is running a competition for poems, prose or short stories of exactly 100 words on one of these four topics to be submitted across three categories – primary school pupils; secondary school pupils; and sixth form students and adults.  Entry forms are available from Hampshire libraries.  

  • Community poppy installation, Hampshire Libraries

Residents are encouraged to paint, knit, fold or sew their own poppy and bring it into their local library between 13 October and 11 November. The poppies will then be incorporated in library poppy displays.

  • Tommy silhouettes, at various libraries and at Royal Victoria Chapel, Netley

Some of Hampshire’s libraries and also the newly restored Chapel at Royal Victoria Country Park will display transparent outlines of WW1 soldiers - Tommy silhouettes – commemorating those fallen during the war, as part of the national There But Not There project.

  • Life on the Home Front – Eastleigh Library

A talk at Eastleigh Library exploring what life was life for those who were living and working on the Home Front. 6 October

  • When the guns fell silent – Winchester Discovery Centre

An exhibition organised by Winchester's Military Museums, bringing together a selection of documents, photographs, medals and personal souvenirs to tell the stories of some of the many First World War servicemen and servicewomen who came from Hampshire. 13 October to 25 November.

  • WW1/RAF – Bordon Library

In an illustrated talk, member of the Woolmer Forest Heritage Society and former Commanding Officer of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Police, Brian Thomson, describes the role of the RAF Regiment and its ‘foot soldiers’. 24 October. 

  • Lest We Forget Digital Collection Day – Fleet Library

On Friday 9 November, Fleet Library is hosting a drop-in session for people to come along and talk about their memories relating to WWI, or bring in memorabilia. People are welcome to bring in letters, photos, diaries, memoirs, medals, souvenirs, uniforms, art, or anything else they have, about anyone who lived through the war or was affected by it. This event is part of Lest We Forget.

  • WW1 parent and child art workshop – Eastleigh Library

An art workshop for parents and children to learn about war time aviation, and create a papier mache aeroplane model. 13 October.

  • Dearest Mother: A First World War Story, Hampshire Record Office, Winchester

Visitors to Hampshire Record Office, will hear the relatives of the WW1 Royal Engineers Officer, John Baines, bring to life the fascinating letters he sent home. Re-enactors will be on hand as soldiers and nurses demonstrating kit and equipment used. An exhibition of original documents will also be displayed, including records on the Christmas Truce, letters home and diaries of events, both at home and from the various conflict zones, along with archive film. 6 November.

For further details on the events and activities, please visit www.hants.gov.uk/firstworldwar