Wartime memorabillia sought for library event

PRECIOUS diaries, medals, photographs, letters and poems from World War One are being sought for a special free event being held at Exeter Central Library.

PRECIOUS diaries, medals, photographs, letters and poems from World War One are being sought for a special free event being held at Exeter Central Library.

1918 - 2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance will be held on Saturday, November 8 from 10am - 3.30pm.

Devon County Council is working with BBC Learning to host this opportunity for visitors to look, share and remember those who served and those who lost their lives.

Visitors are being asked to bring along any family memorabilia they have from the Great War.

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With volunteers on hand to help with the technology, these will be photographed or scanned and put on a Wall of Remembrance on the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/remembrance

1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance is a BBC campaign to mark the 90th anniversary of Armistice. Events are being held across the country with the aim of unifying and personalising the act of remembrance and bringing World War One vividly alive in the present day.

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Executive Member for Culture, Councillor Sheila Hobden, said: "This 90th anniversary is a particularly important one, as there are now so few left who have any first-hand memories.

"However, a great number of us have items and memories that have been passed down and are perhaps kept in attics, boxes or old photo albums.

"We want to help display them for all to see, so these memories are with us in digital form, for ever."

BBC Learning Executive, Louise Wordsworth, said: "We want to help people re-engage with the act of remembrance on a personal level by encouraging them to share their family stories of the Great War and learn about what happened to the soldiers that came from their local areas.

"I think it's true to say that we are all somehow connected to the events of 1914-1918 and this is a real chance for people to find out how their own families were affected.

"Remembrance is a national but also personal act and we hope that these local events will offer people the chance to unite in the memories of their loved one as well as giving visitors the opportunity to see what life would have been like for those living and fighting in the Great War."

The Library will be putting on display books and other material from the period, including a large painting of a WW1 battle and copies of original photos of a temporary hospital set up in Exeter, together with extracts from a scrapbook of letters of thanks from various wounded soldiers to a particular nurse.

These are all handwritten, often in pencil and peppered with sketches, poems and jokes. The original hospital items are held at the Devon Record Office.

There will also be an opportunity to look at genealogical websites and explore family history.

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