Hastings Museum marks the end of the Great War with two exhibitions

Museum War Exhibition 2 SUS-180925-093219001
Museum War Exhibition 2 SUS-180925-093219001

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is marking the centenary of the end of the First World War with two exhibitions.

The First World War shaped the world we know today. Nothing like it had ever been seen before. Fighting took place in Europe, Africa and Asia, and over 40% of the world’s population felt its impact.

Museum War Exhibition 1 SUS-180925-093044001

Museum War Exhibition 1 SUS-180925-093044001

More than 9 million of those who fought were killed and more than 7 million civilians died from fighting, disease or starvation. This death toll changed society’s attitude to war as few were left unaffected.

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Since 2014, Hastings Remembers has been looking at the impact the war had on Hastings and its communities. They have uncovered some fascinating stories and objects, which can be explored on the exhibition touchscreen.

Cllr Kim Forward, said: “The ground floor exhibition examines remembrance and memorial through objects from the museum’s collection. It shows how the sacrifices of the conflict have been marked, both for individuals and for society as a whole.

A brand new touchscreen interactive will give visitors to opportunity to explore more local stories and browse the museum’s First World War collections. Admission to the exhibition at the museum and art gallery is free.”

The second exhibition examines The Price of War. In autumn 1914, it became clear that the fighting wouldn’t be over by Christmas. If Britain was going to be in for the long haul, the government had to find ways of meeting the huge expense of war. It had three main options: taxes, borrowing and printing money. All would have a direct impact on the general public.

This exhibition shows a selection of public information posters and leaflets designed to encourage people to support the economic war effort, both through direct financial investment as well as rationing and thrifty household management.

A free Family Activity Day takes place on Tuesday October 23 from 10am – 3pm. There will be First World War themed activities, including arts/crafts, object handling and a special visit from Hands On History.

Another free event on Saturday November 10, from 2pm - 3.30pm, is Hastings Remembers. This will explore local stories of the First World War and popular music of the day. There will be some simple craft activities for families and refreshments will be available.

On Saturday January 26, from 10.30am - 3.15pm, is an adult art workshop: Memory Mats with Debbie Siniska. Learn the old fashioned techniques of hooky and proddy using traditional hand tools. Only 10 places available, and the costs is £50. Booking is essential. Email museum@hastings.gov.uk.