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Posts tagged with 'First World War'

A Christmas gift from 1914

15 December 2014 by Jen

Offer of WIlliam Galvin's framed tin (2) - blog size

Framed Princes Mary gift received in 1914 by Royal Navy Stoker, William Galvin. In the bottom right of the frame you can see a piece of shrapnel that fell on the deck of his ship the HMS Lion.

Once again, (and, as usual, far sooner than those of us who haven’t finished the shopping yet had expected), we are fast approaching Christmas. A season as much associated with ideas of peace and goodwill as with gift giving and good food. Christmas presents have become an inescapable part of the season, one which many people (or at least those who are very well organised) start to think about a couple of months in advance.

In October 1914 one young girl seems to have been doing exactly that and her Christmas list was certainly more ambitious than most! Princess Mary, the 17 year old daughter of King George V, decided she wanted to send a gift to:

“every sailor afloat and every soldier at the Front”

Read more…

New advent calendar for 2014

27 November 2014 by Sam

advent calendar illustration of a winter scene with Liverpool landmarks

It’s almost time to open the first door in our popular advent calendar. Our Christmas elves (or curators, as they prefer to be called) have been working hard to find some new surprises from our collections and displays to hide behind the doors for you.

As we have been marking the centenary of the First World War with a number of exhibitions and events throughout 2014, we decided to make this the theme for the content of this year’s advent calendar.

I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but there are some really fascinating objects hidden behind the doors, which give a glimpse of how the war affected everyday people. Read more…

A window of Remembrance

26 November 2014 by Lucy

Photo of First World War window display

Catherine Mooney makes the finishing touches to her First World War window display

The Museum of Liverpool has teamed up with the Hugh Baird University Centre to create a unique Christmas window display to commemorate the First World War.

We tasked first year undergraduates on the Foundation Degree in Visual Merchandising and Promotional Design– validated by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) – to create a visual display in our shop window to reflect our First World War exhibitions.

Students were asked to create designs based on subjects including ‘Home for Christmas’, ‘Women at War’ and ‘The Christmas Truce’.

Catherine Mooney was chosen to produce the display which can be seen by visitors until the end of January 2015.

Here, Catherine explains the background behind her design proposal:

During my research for the Museum of Liverpool’s First World War window, I felt it was important to signify the great loss suffered by the city. 13,000 people from Liverpool lost their lives and many more were affected by the war. I obtained a copy of the First World War Memorial Roll of Honour of Liverpool’s Military War Dead, which is displayed in the Hall of Remembrance at Liverpool Town Hall. It lists more than 13,000 names of fallen soldiers. The names are an integral part of my design proposal and are intended to make an emotional connection with the viewer, juxtaposing the sentiment of families at Christmas with the memories of all those who were lost through the tragedy of The Great War.

A main element of my design proposal is the use of an army camouflage net as a backdrop. Camouflage netting was first used in the First World War and was made by women to help protect their loved one during battle. Handwritten labels representing each person lost will be tied on with red ribbon, with the aim of evoking the notion of present giving at Christmas time. The names signify those who didn’t return home for Christmas and act as a personal remembrance for those who were lost.

I have incorporated the Museum’s merchandise into my design by developing a Christmas tree idea made from books stacked to form a tree-like shape. The merchandise can be placed on top and used like a plinth to display the stock. I was inspired by the fact it was virtually impossible to obtain a Christmas tree during the war, so people were creative in using whatever materials they could find and ‘made do’.

Christmas is when families traditionally spend time together and exchange presents. It is also a time to remember those who are no longer with us. My design proposal intends to produce a window that will evoke these feelings and act as remembrance to Liverpool’s fallen during the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War.


Every item purchased in the Museum of Liverpool shop supports National Museums Liverpool, with all profit made going straight back into the organisation.

Many Christmas gifts are available, including a First World War selection inspired by the Museum of Liverpool’s current exhibitions.

The ‘Thomas Splint’ – UK Disability History Month

21 November 2014 by Kay

Splint with long sticks and padded ends for attaching to a leg, in museum display case

The Thomas Splint on display in the Museum of Liverpool. Lent by the Thackray Museum, Leeds

The theme of this year’s UK Disability History Month, 22 November – 22 December, is War and Impairment: The Social Consequences of Disablement.

With the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the treatment of war disabled people casts a long shadow, with the unprecedented number of newly disabled people created by the world’s first industrial and total war.

We have on display in The People’s Republic gallery, Museum of Liverpool, this splint known as a ‘Thomas Splint’ after its inventor Hugh Owen Thomas (1834 – 1891). Thomas was a surgeon from North Wales, who treated many people in Liverpool’s slums.  Read more…

Dazzle ship prints at the Walker

13 October 2014 by Lisa

Dazzle ship prints

Curator Alex Patterson with the dazzle ship prints.

You might already know that there is a bold ‘dazzle ship’ of ours in Liverpool’s docks at the moment, but did you know about our set of striking dazzle prints at the Walker? Assistant curator of fine art, Alex Patterson, gives us the story behind the art…

“As we commemorate the centenary of World War I, we thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to display our rarely seen ‘dazzle’ prints at the Walker Art Gallery. These fantastic images were made by the British artist Edward Wadsworth (1889-1949) and are inspired by the concept of ‘dazzle camouflage’. Read more…

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.  Read more…

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…

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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.