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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. I was just a very small cog in a much bigger machine, but for the last couple of weeks I have been writing text, researching images and generally pulling information and stories together.

It’s quite a complicated process to try to condense some people’s stories into 100 words for a display panel and ensure that it makes sense. Hopefully we have managed it. Visitors to the trail can also visit our museums nearby if they want to find out more in our exhibitions including Lusitania: life, loss legacy, From waterfront to Western Front and Poppies: Women and War, as well as the City Soldiers gallery.

ceramic poppy in museum display

A ceramic poppy from the ‘Blood Swept lands and Seas of Red’ art installation at the Tower of London in 2014 is on display in the ‘Poppies: Women and War’ exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool

It was also difficult trying to narrow down the selection to just 21 people for the trail panels, as there are so many great Liverpool stories to choose from. One of the stories we had to leave out was Captain Frank Watson, pictured above, who was killed in 1917. Visit the From Waterfront to Western Front exhibition in the Museum of Liverpool to see his hip flask which was damaged by the shrapnel or bullet that fatally wounded him.

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