An exhibition to commemorate the end of the First World War that shows how those who did not come home are remembered, opens at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes on 21 October 2018.
Curated by local historian, Richard Broadhead, the exhibition will include a Wall of Remembrance for the 10,000 people who are on memorials: born, buried or associated with Wiltshire. This has never been achieved before and to gaze on so many names of the fallen will be an emotional experience.
Richard Broadhead has investigated why the county has so many war memorials and the process that led to their creation – which was not always a very civil process.
So much Great War archaeology is still to be done in Wiltshire and some surprising artefacts from explorations that have been completed will be included in the exhibition.
There will also be a memorial to the men and women members of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society (which owns the Wiltshire Museum) who fell in the Great War.
Again, this is the first time the names of members, or children of members, who fell in the Great War have been put on display. They include the Curator’s son, a grave visited by the King and other surprising characters.
One of stories the exhibition will be telling is that of William Herbert Bainbridge. A Captain in the 24th Royal Fusiliers, he was killed in action on 19 August 1917, aged 27. He is buried in France at the Gorre British and Indian Cemetery in the Pas de Calais.
His parents, William and Louisa Bambridge, lived in Marlborough and he is commemorated on the Marlborough war memorial.
He had been living in British Columbia and returned to Britain in 1910. He was a talented musician. He attended Marlborough College where his father was organist. His family were members of the Wiltshire Archaeology and Natural History Society.
Richard Broadhead: “It is more than just a list of names though, as individual stories are also told. This is a unique exhibition, commemorating in one place the men and women of Wiltshire who died in the First World War.”
The exhibition will remain open in the Oexmann Gallery and Art Gallery at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes from 21 October 2018 to 23 February 2019.