Waddesdon at War
26 March – 26 October 2014
Letters, archival records and memorabilia reveal what life was like for the family and staff who lived at the manor during the First World War.
Among them is Sydney Lyons, who worked in the Waddesdon gardens until conflict broke out in 1914. Put to service with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (OBLI), he stayed in contact with head gardener GF Johnson, who sent letters detailing news and events at the manor, on display here.
Another letter, this time addressed to Johnson, is from lady of the house Alice de Rothschild, who gives instructions about what he should grow in the gardens, and discusses how the war is affecting the family and staff. It is shown alongside estate records from the time.
Other items of correspondence are used to reveal the impact the war had on the wider Rothschild family, including those living in Austria, Germany and France.
Correspondence between Mr and Mrs James de Rothschild during the period James was serving in France and Palestine illuminates the experience of the family both at home and abroad.