St Albans Museum + Gallery to commemorate First World War

PUBLISHED: 14:49 09 November 2018

Lasting Peace - the dedication of St Peter's Street War Memorial on May 22, 1921. Picture: St Albans Museums

Lasting Peace - the dedication of St Peter's Street War Memorial on May 22, 1921. Picture: St Albans Museums

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St Albans Museum + Gallery is marking the centenary of the end of the First World War with special exhibitions and events.

St Albans Museum + Gallery. Picture: St Albans district councilSt Albans Museum + Gallery. Picture: St Albans district council

To commemorate Armistice Day, there will be two new exhibitions exploring the lasting impact of WWI and how we remember it, which will be on display in the museum’s West Keeper’s Gallery and Assembly Room.

The first exhibition, entitled ‘Lasting Peace?’, delves into how First World War memorials have changed from the first street shrines to the large public displays seen today.

There will also be a box of cards with the names of soldiers from St Albans’ war memorials, and visitors are invited to take a card to remember a soldier.

The exhibition is told through a mix of objects, artefacts and paintings, including a pair of memorial windows from the Folly Lane Chapel in Wheathampstead, which were rescued from a salvage yard following the chapel’s demolition.

Portrait of Second Lieutenant Frederick John 'Eric' Freeman by Frank Salisbury. Picture: St Albans MuseumsPortrait of Second Lieutenant Frederick John 'Eric' Freeman by Frank Salisbury. Picture: St Albans Museums

There is also a portrait of Second Lieutenant ‘Eric’ Freeman (pictured), who was killed in the Battle of the Somme aged 22, painted by Harpenden-born artist Frank Salisbury.

The second exhibition, ‘St Albans Legacy’, showcases the artwork and creative responses of local pupils to the First World War. A culmination of a multimedia art competition, the exhibition is curated by Andie Hill and aims to reveal what the Armistice means to a new generation.

St Albans Museum + Gallery will also host screenings in the cells of Howard Guard’s 50-minute film ‘A County at War, Life on the Home Front in Hertfordshire’, which highlights the unsung heroes of the Home Front and is made from photographs supplied by local museums and the public. There will be a family craft activity making poppies as well as evening talks.

Cllr Annie Brewster, St Albans district council’s portfolio holder for sports and leisure, said: “St Albans Museum + Gallery is a real hub for the local community and I am delighted that it is providing a space for everyone to come together, reflect and remember the First World War. Through taking part in the many activities and exhibitions on offer, we can keep alive the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

St Albans Clock Tower through Waxhouse Gate by Henry Mitton Wilson. Picture: St Albans MuseumsSt Albans Clock Tower through Waxhouse Gate by Henry Mitton Wilson. Picture: St Albans Museums

The museum will stay open until 6.30pm on Sunday, November 11.

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