A POWERFUL and poignant transformation has taken place in The King’s Room at Salisbury Museum.
The space has been re-imagined as a replica of a First World War trench by author and historian Richard Broadhead.
Driven by a passion to remember and rediscover the stories of the men of Salisbury who died during the Great War, Mr Broadhead has spent the last decade researching and drawing together the amazing range of stories and artefacts that bring this temporary exhibition to life.
“It started when I went to a Remembrance service where only the initials and surnames of the fallen were read out and I realised that in order to be properly remembered, the stories of these men needed to be told,” he said.
He set about painstakingly piecing together details of these fallen men, which bring them back into focus as citizens of Salisbury.
Portrayed in graphic panels, these stories line the walls of the trench chronologically, just as the news would have been received by the families left behind. In a world without television and mobile phones, it aims to bring home the reality of how long it took news of the war, and news of the demise of these soldiers, to reach Salisbury.
Photographs, letters and snippets of news cuttings bring these young men to life as real people, who gave their lives for their country.
Posters and images give further context and there are haunting domestic details such as jam tins that, owing to the shortages of war, were turned into hand grenades.
Such objects and the trappings of real war horses give an insight into the experiences the men had in the trenches of France and Belgium during the course of the war.
The Salisbury Great War Exhibition will run until February 22, paving the way for the Museum’s own First World War exhibition, which will run from October 3 until January 17, 2015.
The museum will also be running various half termactivities for children to tie-in with the exhibition: l Free Discovery Tuesday (February 18): The Trench Experience. Discover what life was like for soldiers in the Great War with activities and storytelling.
Craft activities: 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm. Storytelling: 10.30am, noon, 1.45pm and 3pm.
* Salisbury Museum @Bemerton (Wednesday, February 19): Free craft activities as the museum takes its Discovery Day on the road to Bemerton Heath Centre in Pinewood Way.
Sessions from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm l Family day out (Thursday, February 20): Enjoy a day out at Salisbury Museum with a range of activities including gallery trails, spotter cards and make-your-own sketchbook. Craft activities from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
* The Salisbury Great War Exhibition will run until February 22