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Christmas at Remembering 1916

Home from the Front - an Edwardian-style drawing room at Christmas.

"Even if many of the posts formerly held by men which women are now filling are for the duration of the war only … they will have tested women’s capacity in a way that may have a lasting effect on women’s work in the future."– The Times newspaper, 1915

Remembering 1916 – Life on the Western Front

Whitgift presents a major exhibition to mark the Centenary of the First World War. The focus is on 1916, a pivotal year which saw a number of significant battles, including the Battle of Verdun, and the Battle of the Somme, one of the most famous in British military history. The Exhibition features detailed re-creations of bombed-out cellar at Verdun, the British and German trenches at the Somme, and an Edwardian drawing room.

"…a rifle and bayonet with a pair of wire cutters, oil sheet, cardigan, jacket and mess tin; haversack containing one day’s iron rations and two Mills bombs; 150 rounds of ammunition; two extra bandoliers containing 60 rounds each, one over each shoulder; a bag of ten bombs."– Private John Andrews on what he was carrying on the first day of the Battle of the Somme

Remembering 1916 – Life on the Western Front displays an outstanding range of original artefacts, the great majority of which has never been seen by the public. These include British, French and German uniforms, equipment and weaponry, memorabilia from the Home Front, and some incredibly rare objects, such as: a German light field wagon; two first issues of the famous trench newspaper, The Wipers Times; the train station sign from Verdun; and items associated with the German flying ace, the 'Red Baron'.

"We who strike the enemy where his heart beats have been slandered as ‘baby-killers’ and ‘murderers of women’… What we do is repugnant to us too, but necessary. Very necessary. Nowadays there is no such animal as a non-combatant: modern warfare is total warfare." – Capt. Peter Strasser, Commander of the German Zeppelin programme