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Posts tagged with 'first world war'

The centenary of the Somme battles

30 June 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

old photo of a young man in uniform

Portrait photograph postcard of Private Harry Grace, King’s Regiment. Written on the reverse, ‘Signaller Harry Grace, Killed in France 1st July 1916, 18th Service K.L.R. “Pals” (2nd Batt).’ Private Harry Grace was a scoutmaster and prominent member of Richmond Baptist Youth Group. He was 19 when he was killed by a shell at the Somme.

One hundred years ago this week, on 1 July 1916, British Forces suffered their worst casualties ever in one single day. Communities all over Britain will come together on Friday 1 July to commemorate the anniversary of what is often called, ‘the bloodiest day in British military history’. At the Museum of Liverpool our latest exhibition First World War: Charity and Liverpool’s Home Front, looks at some of the organisations that were instrumental in helping both the casualties who came home from the war, and also the families of the men who did not.

That first day of the Somme saw 19,240 British men killed in action, a further 40,000 were wounded or taken prisoner. The British front line stretched from Gommecourt to Maricourt – around 18 miles of trenches. South of Maricourt, the French Army held the line. The battle was a tactical one, meant to divert German troops from a much larger battle, being fought against the French further east at Verdun.  Read more…

Online collections – Lusitania and Liverpool’s First World War at sea

6 May 2016 by Ellie

Dry-point etching on paper of RMS Lusitania

1987.306 Lusitania in the Mersey, by W L Wyllie

This time last year, RMS Lusitania was a focus of local, national and international attention as we marked 100 years since the sinking of this famous Cunard ship on 7 May 1915. Read more…

Lusitania families reunited

3 May 2016 by Sam

two women

Joyce Percival and Mary Jones at the Lusitania commemoration in 2015

Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the tragic loss of the Lusitania with a commemoration and minute’s silence at the quayside, by one of the ship’s propellers which is now part of our collection.

For the centenary of the sinking in 2015 there was also a special service at Liverpool Parish Church Our Lady and St Nicholas. The service included an unexpected twist for Mary Jones, who attended in memory of her great grandfather Michael Cooney, a fireman in the engineering department on board the Lusitania who lost his life in the tragedy, along with his son, also called Michael. Read more…

House of Memories Armed Forces Days

13 April 2016 by Mitty

A suitcase containing objects associated with the Army such as a kit bag, documents and Army Dress cap

Army themed memory suitcase

For the last few months I’ve been working on a very exciting new project in connection with the Museum of Liverpool’s award winning House of Memories. The programme has helped thousands of healthcare professionals and family members increase their understanding of how to support people with dementia to live well with dementia.

My role is to work with the Armed Forces community to develop a new strand of House of Memories, funded by the Armed Forces Covenant. This has involved a great deal of consultation with people to ensure we are making the experience as relevant as possible.  Read more…

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…



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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.