A new exhibition opens at Bexhill Museum tomorrow to mark the Centenary of the First World War.
This explores Bexhill’s contribution to the Great War and what life was like for residents. It has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is part of the Imperial War Museum’ First World War Centenary Partnership, and will run until December 7.
Over 2000 men from Bexhill joined the armed forces and served in all the theatres of war. Bexhill nurses treated soldiers in field hospitals, on hospital ships and in the various Red Cross and VAD military hospitals in the town. Other residents became munitions workers, formed a Volunteer Training Corps, and worked on the land. The town welcomed over 200 Belgian refugees and with the creation of Cooden Camp also became home to various troops from the local Lowther’s Lambs to South Africans, Australians and Canadians.
The exhibition reveals the individual stories of some of Bexhill’s residents during the war from soldiers and nurses, to conscientious objectors, and doctors. It explores why the town Mayor resigned at the start of the war, what the troops got up to while in town, the home front and why the town end up with a tank called Muriel! It also looks at how the war was commemorated and the creation of the town’s war memorials.
The exhibition also includes hands-on resources for families, children’s interpretation, a unique film of soldiers in Bexhill, and objects from the Great War.
There is also a new digital resource in the Museum’s Access Centre. This allows visitors to find out even more about Bexhill’s First World War experience and to research other individuals. The Museum is eager to add to the information and would welcome offers of information and family stories about people connected to Bexhill during the War. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
A diverse programme of events will also accompany the exhibition throughout the year including lectures, guided walks, workshops and children’s activities. For details see www.bexhillmuseum.co.uk
‘Butterflies & Beetles’ crafts workshop 12-4pm Sat March 1, is family drop-in activity, with artist Jane Churchill, inspired by artwork in the exhibition.