The memories of six Horsham survivors of the First World War are the subject of the town museum’s latest exhibition commemorating the centenary of the start of the conflict.
Horsham Museum’s ‘The First World War 1914-1919 Memories and Memorabilia’ was officially opened by Philip Circus, chairman of Horsham District Council, last Thursday.
Using previously unseen photographs, unpublished wartime memories, and the museum’s unique collection of wartime posters, as well as objects collected as souvenirs, the exhibition hopes to give visitors to the attraction in the Causeway a unique insight into the conflict.
The memories of the six Horsham survivors of the Great War are drawn from stories captured back in the 1970s by Jane Bowen and donated to Horsham Museum.
Along with these are remarkable survivals such as a First World War periscope, Valentine’s cards, silk handkerchiefs, uniforms, and knitted ware.
There are also the medals awarded to a doctor who settled in post-war Horsham along with a rare copy of his account of the war, Dr Sparrow’s On Four Fronts.
Thanks to the BBC TV programme ‘The Wipers Times,’ that satirical magazine written, printed and published on the front has gained increased awareness, and the people of West Sussex may not realise that Horsham had its own version, produced by soldiers based in the town.
A rare complete set will be on display in the two-month long exhibition.
Meanwhile Christ’s Hospital School has loaned the uniform of celebrated war poet and former pupil Edmund Blunden.
The previously unseen photographs offer a powerful insight into the life of a soldier during the First World War, and were taken by an unknown soldier who trained to fly in the Royal Flying Corps. Images include reconnaissance photographs taken over the trenches, and pictures of Egypt.
These are complimented by views of the war collected over 25 years by local historian Gary Cooper.
Horsham Museum is free for visitors, with the exhibition running until March 29.
For more information visit the museum’s website.