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Museum launches appeal for World War One artefacts

In The Beacon Museum’s collection: Belgian refugees were billeted in Millom and other parts of Cumberland

THE Beacon Museum is appealing to the local public to help create a commemorative display later in the year.

A Brave New World will be held at the Whitehaven museum from October 6 to November 11, to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice and its aftermath. This exhibition coincides with the centenary of the end of hostilities on the western front, and special events will be taking place across the borough in remembrance. The exhibition will explore what life was like for the returning service members and what came next as they transitioned from war to peacetime.

In The Beacon Museum’s collection: a public information piece from the 1915 attack on Lowca

Alan Gillon, from the Beacon Museum, said: “This is about local people who came back to a changed world. Many of their friends and family did not return with them and it was a massively challenging time for people who had been through so much.  The First World War was very real for people on the home front also, with the U-boat attack on Lowca in 1915 an obvious reminder that the threat was not far removed. Many are also not aware of the many Belgian refugees who lived and worked in the area. There were over a quarter of a million stayed in Britain during and after the war.”

The Beacon Museum is appealing for items to display in its temporary World War One exhibition.

Mr Gillon added: “We want small artefacts that have links to this area from that time. If it is connected to life during or immediately after the First World War, then it will be considered by our curatorial team. We intend to create a small display of locally loaned items that will complement our collection of artefacts, such as the famous Victoria Cross medal that was bestowed upon Private Abraham Acton.”

The exhibition will culminate in an Armistice Day ceremony, when local schools will be participating in a memorial display. The aim is for the story panels from the exhibition to then be toured around local parishes in the ensuing months for locals to see the displays in their own districts. Anyone who would like more information on hosting the display during late 2018/early 2019 is asked to contact the museum.

Anyone who has an object that they would be happy to loan for this exhibition is asked to email the curatorial team at [email protected] Emails should include a digital image of the item with dimensions, description and condition. The team will reply as soon as possible, however due to space and possible duplication, it is possible that not all objects that are offered will be used for the exhibition.

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