~~An exciting new exhibition has just opened at Fordingbridge Museum to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War. It features a range of original artefacts from the war as well as war related contributions from young and old in the community. The exhibition runs until November 11th and is open 11.00 am to 4.00 pm excluding Sundays except 11th November.
Museum manager, Philippa Duckworth said, “This is one of the most ambitious exhibitions we have ever put on and it uses material from the museum collection as well as items on loan from other collections. We have involved local schoolchildren as well as groups from the local, national and international community. As we commemorate the centenary of the end of the war the exhibition is a potent reminder of the sacrifices made by families in the Fordingbridge area”
A wealth of material has been loaned by St Edward’s School at Sherfield English including a mannequin of a soldier in an original uniform, artefacts dug up on the battlefields, trench art, early gas hoods and a German bravery medal known as an iron cross. An unusual item dug up on the site of the Battle of the Somme is a caltrop which was an arrangement of spikes designed to maim horses. These were put down in areas vulnerable to cavalry attack. Whatever way they were put down spikes pointed upwards and they are of an identical design to caltrops used in medieval times.
Of special interest to local visitors will be a copy of a recently donated Roll of Honour. This dates from October 1914 and contains the names of local men who were serving in the armed forces. People whose families have lived in the area for some time may well find their relatives listed.
Socks knitted to a WW1 pattern designed to have no seams that would rub soldiers and sailors feet also feature in the exhibition. These were produced by local knitting groups and knitters from all over Great Britain. Several of them were knitted by a group in Canada. The display also includes a recently restored circular knitting machine dating from the 1870s that was used by Fordingbridge Women’s Institute to knit socks, garments and bandages during the war.
The Fordingbridge Twinning Association ran a competition that invited local school children to produce poems prose and artwork with the theme “100 years”. Several children produced very creative and poignant artwork and poems related to The Great War and a selection of these have been included in the display.