From Street to Trench: A World War that Shaped a Region
5 April – 31 May 2014
An eclectic display of personal objects, films, photographs, artworks and letters that reveal the experiences of people from the North West of England during the First World War.
The North West was a major focus for recruitment, meaning that many young men left the region for the first time to serve in the War. Here, previously unpublished accounts from soldiers, sailors and pilots who fought in military campaigns that defined the conflict - from Gallipoli in Turkey to the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium - have been uncovered by IWM researchers. Also on display is a rare Albert Medal awarded to front line medic Sergeant Victor Brookes, a Victoria Cross belonging to Cheshire soldier John Davies who put his life at risk to save others and manuscripts detailing war poet Wilfred Owen’s experiences with the Manchester Regiment.
Focusing on the home front, is film footage of life on the eve of war, while the story of Altrincham's Chapel Street – ‘the bravest little street in England’ – reveals how 161 men from just 60 houses served in the armed forces during the conflict.
On display for the first time, a letter from the Gallipoli front by officer Clement Attlee of the South Lancashire Regiment, who later helped found the NHS as Labour Prime Minister. Also featured, is a trench periscope created and manufactured by the owner of Duerrs jam factory in Manchester, a company which is still in operation today.