Our venues

Blog

Posts tagged with 'first world war'

Portrait of a sailor

11 February 2016 by Ellie

Portrait of Stoker 1st Class Joseph Norman Thomas

MMM.2014.39

In 2014 we acquired this rather striking portrait of Royal Navy Stoker 1st Class Joseph Norman Thomas, who was born in Liverpool in 1892. At Merseyside Maritime Museum, we focus on the history of the Merchant Navy, with some exceptions, but we were drawn to this painting as we have very few portraits of seafarers in the collection. Joseph also had very strong local connections, being born and brought up in Liverpool. Read more…

Poppies – a botanist’s view

1 February 2016 by Geraldine

pressed yellow poppies mounted on paper

Welsh poppy, Meconopsis cambrica. This specimen was collected in May 1949 from Hawkshead, Cumbria. Accession number 1987.376.98

As a botanist I was fascinated to see the Poppies: Women and War exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool, which includes botanical photographs of poppies in the field and draws on themes of strength and resilience inspired by the flower.

Poppies always invoke for me a feeling of happiness, large colourful flowers in bright garish colours. ‘Poppy’ refers to a group of species that cover a number of genera in the family Papaveraceae. The one that springs to mind for most people is Papaver rhoeas which is used as the symbol of remembrance and hope.  Read more…

Remembering Liverpool’s First World War

11 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

old photo of a soldier in uniform

Captain Frank Watson

This week we have been commemorating those who lost their lives in conflict. With the centenary of the First World War, this year we have naturally been thinking of that war and the impact that it had on Liverpool. As I mentioned in my last blog post, this year Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool have created the Liverpool Remembers trail, to accompany the Poppies: Weeping Window installation at St George’s Hall. The trail highlights a number of Liverpool stories from across the city.

It was great to see that many people who came to see the installation at St George’s Hall when it opened this weekend then followed the Liverpool Remembers trail panels across town to the Pier Head. What they probably won’t realise is just how much work goes into making a city-wide trail happen. Read more…

A view from the Lady Lever’s South End

10 November 2015 by Jen

Port Sunlight War Memorial

Port Sunlight War Memorial

If you stand looking out of the south doors of the Lady Lever Art Gallery you take in a stunning vista from the nearby fountain, through the rose gardens, towards the Port Sunlight War Memorial. Originally these doors are where you would have entered the gallery and one of the things we wanted to do as part of the South End redevelopment was to restore this view.  When the new galleries open in spring 2016 a new pair of glass doors will allow visitors to gaze out upon the village, helping those within the Lady Lever to connect with her beautiful surroundings. Read more…

Follow the Liverpool Remembers poppy trail

9 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

Liverpool Remembers poppy trail logo

I was pleased to be asked to work with Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool on a trail, to accompany their Poppies: Weeping Window installation at St George’s Hall. Like many people, I was really excited when I heard that the artwork would be in the city during the Remembrance commemorations. I also thought it was very apt that it should be situated at St George’s Hall, where thousands of men had enlisted for the First World War, and where we now gather every year, to commemorate those who have lost their lives in conflict.

I hope that visitors to the Weeping Window will also explore the Liverpool Remembers trail panels that lead down to the Pier Head. Read more…

The ‘Angels of Pervyse’

27 October 2015 by Sam

poppies in a field in Flanders

© Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow shares the story of two brave women who she researched as part of her preparations for the exhibition Poppies: Women and War. You can see more of her photos and read about other women’s stories in the exhibition.

“This image of poppies growing in Flanders, marks the spot where Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, the only women known to nurse on the Western Front in the First World War, saved countless lives. These heroic women, their stories largely forgotten, became two of the most famous women of the war.  Read more…

Forgotten? : Black Soldiers in the Battle of Waterloo

21 October 2015 by Sarah

The Recruitment Officer c1815, showing a Black trumpeter rallying locals. It is exceptionally rare to find an image depicting a Black soldier at the Battle of Waterloo. Image reproduced by permission of Leslie Braine-Ikomi

The Recruitment Officer c1815, showing a Black trumpeter rallying locals. It is exceptionally rare to find an image depicting a Black soldier at the Battle of Waterloo. Image reproduced by permission of Leslie Braine-Ikomi

As we are now remembering and commemorating the Centenary of the First World War, Black British colonial troops are only now receiving attention by historians. 2015 is also the bicentenary of another great conflict, the Battle of Waterloo, and on 24th October at 1pm Dr Ray Costello will focus on another group of soldiers of African descent, Black soldiers who fought at the Battle of Waterloo a century earlier than the Great War. Here, Ray writes a blog for us ahead of his talk at the International Slavery Museum:

“If Black British colonial troops have been long neglected by historians, the existence of any narrative around Black British soldiers enlisting in the United Kingdom in the Napoleonic Wars is even less known. Black soldiers based in the United Kingdom would seem to have been a component of the British army for a very long time and there is some evidence to suggest that the British Army actively sought black soldiers during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

“Individual Black soldiers are known to have taken part in many of the Napoleonic war campaigns, including the Battle of Toulouse, the Peninsular War, Quatre Bra, and the final battle to defeat the French Emperor Napoleon at Waterloo in June 1815.

“Who were these Black soldiers and where were they from? Whilst the majority of Black soldiers found can be identified as coming from the West Indies, reflecting the slave trade, others came in roughly equal measure from Africa, continental North America, (i.e. the United States and Canada), the East Indies and Britain and Ireland. The 88th Foot had a number of Black soldiers serving with it in the Peninsular Campaign, and even after the Napoleonic Wars continued to recruit Black soldiers. One or two were even British-born, as Black people were being born in such ports at Liverpool at that time.

“Both before and after the Battle of Waterloo, amongst other regiments, black individuals were to be found in the 13th light dragoons, the 10th Hussars and the 88th Foot. After the Napoleonic Wars, we also look at what happened to those who had taken part. Did some receive medals? Who looked after them in their declining years and did they receive pensions?

“Although the numbers of Black soldiers may have been relatively small compared with the thousands who fought and died in this epic battle, the aim is to give these soldiers of African descent a deserved face and draw attention to the interest and importance of a previously under-researched history. I am inviting you to come along to the International Slavery Museum to listen to these forgotten accounts, and to perhaps rethink your perceptions of this phase of military history.”

Hear more from Dr Ray Costello this weekend, at his Black Soldiers at Waterloo talk at the International Slavery Museum – Saturday 24 October at 1pm. Part of our Black History Month 2015 event series. 

First World War ‘munitionettes’

21 October 2015 by Sam

traditional woman's cap and explosive shell in museum display

© Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow reflects on the dangerous work carried out by women during the First World War:

“Thank you to all those who came to the Poppies: Women and War guided tour of the exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool earlier this month. One woman in the audience later spoke to me about her mother who had been a munitions worker. After seeing the stories of women and war on the walls, she felt keen to go home and learn more about the nature of the work her mother had undertaken.  Read more…

Nurse Edith Cavell

8 October 2015 by Sam

memorial with statue of nurse and inscription

Memorial statue to Nurse Edith Cavell in London’s Trafalgar Square © Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow tells the story of one of the women featured in her exhibition Poppies: Women and War at the Museum of Liverpool:

“The exhibition Poppies: Women and War honours one of the bravest women in the history of the First World War who was executed one hundred years ago this coming October 12.

Edith Louisa Cavell was a British nurse. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. She was executed by German Army firing squad at dawn on October 12, 1915 aged 50.  Read more…

Unique dazzle ship installation – for one weekend only!

8 September 2015 by Sam

ship painted in bright contrasting stripes

Last year when OMD played two sell-out gigs at the Museum of Liverpool, concert-goers were also treated to a special installation on the Edmund Gardner pilot ship. For one weekend only, we are offering visitors another opportunity to experience this, as curator Ben Whitaker explains:

“Join us on 3 and 4 October when we will take you on a tour deep inside the Edmund Gardner Dazzle Ship to experience a unique audio visual installation.

Called ‘Dazzle Ships (Parts I, IV, V & VI)’, the installation uses music, sound and lighting to immerse you into the world of a dazzle ship under attack 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.

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.