The Bowes Museum’s First World War project – “To Serve King and Country” – has officially ended, but that doesn’t mean it disappears.
Volunteers will continue to add names and information to the Roll of Honour which will still be available online at www.thebowesmuseumww1.org.uk. Several visitors to the recent museum exhibition based on the project’s research have sent or handed in new information about Teesdale men and women who served in the war. We are always pleased to receive new or additional information – there is still so much to find out and record.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has contributed to the project. My colleagues in all departments in the Museum have been a great support throughout the project with help and advice on conservation, education, publicity, identifying objects, and arranging events and exhibitions. Rupert Philbrick, the Community Co-ordinator for the first two years of the project, got it off to a great start with a memorable range of events, talks and activities.
But it would not have been possible to carry out this project without volunteers.
More than 50 volunteers – ranging from school students to the over-70s – have been actively involved in research and data-inputting over the past five years, and over a hundred families and individuals have generously shared their family and community histories. Volunteers have also written stories for the newsletter and the Teesdale Mercury; photographed and recorded WWI family memorabilia; arranged programmes of fascinating talks and events; contributed to a monthly bookgroup; helped create a community piece of art; knitted and crocheted gloves, socks, hats and blankets; co-curated displays and the final exhibition; helped deliver workshops and training. All in all, volunteers gave over 3000 hours (454 days) to the project.
So, an enormous THANK YOU from me to everyone who has helped to make this such a powerful, evocative and long-lasting tribute to the men and women of Teesdale during the First World War.
Judith Phillips, Research Advisor to the project