Daventry Museum launches its World War One Centenary Exhibition

On Saturday 1st September the Mayor of Daventry, Cllr Lynn Jones opened the World War One Centenary Exhibition at Daventry Museum.

Mayor of Daventry, Cllr Lynn Jones and consort Alan Jones

Cllr Lynn Jones said, “The exhibition is excellent and a fitting tribute to all the Daventry Soldiers who lost their lives during World War One”.

At the launch of the event wartime songs were played on the museum piano and visitors reminisced and sang songs such as “Pack up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag” and “Keep the Home Fires Burning”. If you missed this visual and immersive exhibit, visitors will be able to enjoy these musical memories again on the 3rd November and 1st December 2018.

Friends of the museum Robert and Sue Jennens and David Schofield

A poignant exhibit by Gerry Thompson showed photos of Daventry Soldiers who lost their lives, together with a map of Daventry highlighting where these soldiers lived. This display was heartrending as it demonstrated how much this loss of life would have impacted upon a small community during the Great War.

Other artefacts exhibited by Gerry included medals awarded to Daventry soldiers and a pocket diary that remarkably saved the life of a Daventry soldier by taking the impact from a piece of shrapnel.

Local collector Roger Money displayed a taster of his collection of World War One weaponry which included a Lee Enfield Rifle and a 1910 Russian Pattern 7.62mm Maxim. Roger also displayed silk postcards and a cabinet full of war medals, badges, and a Princess Mary’s 1914 Christmas tin complete with original cigarettes, bullet pencil and Christmas card – given to all the troops.

The exhibition runs until Friday 14th December and will include Daventry’s tribute to those 114 Daventry soldiers from Saturday 3rd November to Sunday 11th November when there will be a special display of 114 ‘Empty Chairs’, each one representing one of the Daventry Soldiers who lost their life in the First World War.  Each of these small, model chairs will have been made by a local school or community group, taking part in this project.

These unique chairs will then be given to those who wish to remember a soldier by promising to set an empty seat at their table on Remembrance Sunday on 11th November 2018. Please contact the museum via the details below if you would like to reserve one of these chairs.

To find out more about the museum’s World War One Centenary Commemorations then please get in touch by contacting 01327 301246 or emailing museum@daventrytowncouncil.gov.uk or by visiting the museum at 3 New Street, Daventry, NN11 4BT.