Our venues

Blog

Posts tagged with 'First World War'

Research First World War family history

4 September 2014 by Lucy

Image of boy trying on helmet

Our City Soldiers gallery features a range of military headware to try on

Come along to the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday from 10:30am – 4:30pm for a free First World War Family History Event.

There’s loads going on, including a trench erected in the Museum’s atrium, and an Edwardian School Mistress will also be on hand to teach people about the causes of the First World War.

Our Family History Events can help you search for relatives who served in the war, and give insight into people’s experiences on the Front and at home. This year, the event is more poignant due to the Centenary of the First World War and our new exhibition ‘First World War: reflecting on Liverpool’s Home Front’, which is being displayed to mark 100 years since the outbreak of war.

At the Museum of Liverpool, we look after the collections of The King’s Regiment displayed in the ‘City Soldiers’ gallery, which features a research database for visitors to use to find out more about family members who served with the King’s. The Devereux Database currently contains the biographical details of more than 81,500 men who served in the King’s Regiment during the First World War, along with approximately 5,000 images. This year’s Family History Event will be particularly special because the compiler of this database will be attending from the U.S.A.

We are also working with local experts and societies to assist visitors’ research of soldiers from the area, including:

  • Liverpool Medical Institute
  • Liverpool Medical History Society
  • WO1 (RSM) Bob Dixon from 208 Field Hospital
  • Local King’s Regiment experts
  • The Western Front Association
  • Liverpool and South West Lancashire Family History Society
  • The Liverpool First World War Research Committee
  • The Liverpool Pals
  • The King’s Regiment Association
  • John Moores University

There will be a range of family friendly activities on offer throughout the day including handling sessions, poetry performances and arts and crafts for younger visitors. Visitors can also meet the Museum’s own King’s Regiment ‘Tommy Atkins’ and see what his life in a trench was like, or learn about the embroidered postcards he sent home.

 

Red Ensign flying for Merchant Navy Day

3 September 2014 by Jen

Red Ensign flag flying above the Pilotage building.

The Red Ensign flying above the Pilotage building.

Anyone visiting us down at the Liverpool waterfront this week might have noticed a distinctive red flag flying above the old Liverpool Pilotage building next door to the Museum of Liverpool. Bright red, with the Union flag in the top left corner, it’s known as a Red Ensign. Yesterday myself and a couple of colleagues had the slightly hair-raising task (it looks a lot higher up once you get up there!) of climbing up to the roof and raising the flag in time to mark Merchant Navy Day on  3 September. Read more…

Pilot memorials unveiled at New Brighton

9 June 2014 by Jen

memorial being unveiled at New Brighton waterfront

© John MacLeod Photography

Two new memorials were unveiled in New Brighton on 19 May to commemorate the losses suffered by the Liverpool Pilot Boat Service in the First and Second World Wars.

For hundreds of years the Pilot boats have been invaluable to ships entering the docks at Liverpool and on the Wirral.  They supply a local Pilot who boards the visiting ship and guides it safely through the difficult channel and into the docks.  The Pilots continued this work throughout the two World Wars, providing an essential service to the wartime convoys.

The wars made the Pilots more valuable than ever but also added massively to the difficulty and danger of their job. Read more…

Sam’s tribute to the Lusitania

3 June 2014 by Sam

young boy holding up a drawing

Sam Colley with his picture ‘The sinking of the Lusitania’

The tragic sinking of the Lusitania during the First World War had a devastating effect on the tight-knit dockland communities in north Liverpool, where most of the liner’s crew lived. 404 crew members died, including many Liverpool Irish seamen.

Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the sinking with a memorial service on the quayside by the Lusitania’s propeller. Unknown to us, this year a 6 year old boy many miles away in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire was also inspired to make his own tribute to the ship. His mother Joanne Colley got in touch with us when she realised the coincidence. Read more…

Charles Lightoller, a Lancashire lad who went to sea

6 May 2014 by Sam

ship during construction

Concrete ship under construction in Warrington, image courtesy of English Heritage

Merseyside Maritime Museum’s series of free spring lectures starts tomorrow, Wednesday 7 May, at 12 noon, with a talk by Serena Cant, English Heritage. Serena will be talking about the front line at sea, and in particular the contribution of the ships and the people of the north west coast to the First World War. In this guest blog post she discusses the wartime service of  Charles Lightoller:

“Charles Lightoller, a Lancashire lad who went to sea, was one of at least two known survivors of the Titanic, both of whom survived further wreck incidents during the Great War, as it was called by contemporaries. Read more…

Tragic story of First World War soldier’s suicide

7 February 2014 by Kay

2014-LOGO-31-150x150

February is Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans History Month. To help represent and celebrate the lives and achievements of Liverpool’s LGBT community we are highlighting this story of Private William Mason, a King’s Liverpool Regiment soldier who served in the First World War.

Aged just 19, William Mason committed suicide in July 1916. William, from Birkenhead, had enlisted the previous year in Liverpool. He is one of almost 80,000 soldiers listed on our Kings Regiment World War I database. The following information is taken from a Liverpool Echo article, Tuesday 18 July, 1916, featured on the database. Read more…

National Register of Archives

14 January 2014 by Sarah

Photograph of wounded disembarking from a hospital ship during the First World War

Photograph of wounded disembarking from a hospital ship during the First World War (Maritime Archives reference D/APB)

Here at the Maritime Archives & Library, I am in the process of preparing our annual return for the NRA, which in the world of UK Archives stands for National Register of Archives.  Read more…

UK Disability History Month – Jack Brunel Cohen’s story

10 December 2013 by Kay

Jack Cohen

We are highlighting people’s stories and objects featured in the Museum of Liverpool to celebrate UK Disability History Month. Our third instalment is Jack’s story.

Jack Brunel Cohen was born in 1886. He was the Jewish great-nephew of Liverpool department store owner David Lewis. Jack and two of his brothers fought with the 5th Battalion, King’s Regiment during the First World War. He was wounded in action at Ypres and had both of his legs amputated. Read more…

Lusitania families’ event

8 November 2013 by Ellie

RMS Lusitania at the Liverpool Landing Stage in 1907

MCR/25/117 Image courtesy of NML, image not copyright NML.

At this time of year we pause to remember the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

With that in mind, Merseyside Maritime Museum is continuing to work towards marking the centenary of the sinking of Liverpool’s most famous ship, ‘RMS Lusitania’, in 2015.

On the 7 May 1915, while en route to Liverpool, ‘Lusitania’ was torpedoed by the German U-boat U-20 off the Irish coast near the Old Head of Kinsale. She sank in just 18 minutes, and 1198 men, women and children perished. The sinking sent shockwaves around the world, but her loss was felt particularly keenly in Liverpool – where rioting broke out against German-owned businesses.  A large number of the crew had strong connections to the city and many families were devastated by the event. “Lusi”, as she was affectionately known in the city, was held high regard by local people and had been a familiar site at the Landing Stage since her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in September 1907.

Each year Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary with a commemoration around our ‘Lusitania’ propeller, on the quayside across from the museum. Many of those who join us have family connections to those who were on board, and this year we met with people after the event to listen to their stories.

Lusitania propeller on the museum quayside

MMM.1989.159

On Friday 15th November we are hosting a follow-up event, and are hoping to see some familiar faces but also make new connections with local people who have family ties to ‘Lusitania’. If you, or someone you know, would like to come along then head for Learning Base 2, on the second floor of the museum, from 2pm.

If you would like more information then please email us at Lusitania@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk.

Can you help us to fill an important gap in our First World War archives?

23 September 2013 by Felicity

We need your help in filling an important gap in our archives. Here’s Karen O’Rourke, Curator of Social History at Museum of Liverpool, to explain:

“Museum of Liverpool has a fabulous exhibition about Liverpool people in the First World War, but when I was putting together the exhibition, I realised that we didn’t have any material about the local Black and Minority Ethnic community. It concerned me that we were effectively missing a chunk of the local population and when I was given the opportunity to suggest potential First World War projects that could feature in Museum of Liverpool, it was my first choice! Read more…

About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

Award-winning blog

corpcomms awards winner logo

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.