Wednesday 9 March 2016

Rare First World War objects go on display in Croydon

Hundreds of unique objects from the First World War will go on display at a major new exhibition in Croydon.
A century after the Battle of Verdun, the Whitgift Exhibition Centre will host original uniforms and weaponry, rare first issues of the trench newspaper The Wipers Times and recruitment posters.
gas mask ww1
The 'PH' Helmet was an early gas mask. The fabric was soaked in chemicals to protect the wearer from poison gas. The rattle was to sound the alert

Visitors can see mock-ups of trenches and an Edwardian drawing room.
Many items have never been on public display before.
iron cross ww1Image copyrightDanny Fitzpatrick
Image captionA German Iron Cross box with box and bracelet
Remembering 1916 - Life on the Western Front tells the story of the war through objects, displays and testimony from individuals on both sides.
german helmet ww1Image copyrightDanny Fitzpatrick
Image captionA German Pickelhaube helmet with spike in the shape of a ball, indicating it was worn by an artilleryman
A locket holds a portrait of an unknown airman from the Royal Flying Corps, with a fragment of fabric from the Red Baron's red triplane.
locketImage copyrightWhitgift Exhibition
Image captionOn the reverse is a remnant from Manfred von Richthofen's triplane
Re-enacted rooms from the period show call-up papers arriving in the hallway of an Edwardian home.
drawing room edwardianImage copyrightDanny Fitzpatrick
Image captionThe exhibition includes a re-enacted Edwardian drawing-room of the kind a soldier might have enjoyed on leave
Numerous weapons are on display, including pistols, a German trench club and machine guns.
mills grenadeImage copyrightWhitgift Exhibition
Image captionBy 1917, more than a million of the British Mills grenades were produced every week
Many exhibits come from France, including a railway station sign from Verdun, a military priest's hat and grave markers.
grave markerImage copyrightWhitgift Exhibition
Image captionMany soldiers never received a proper burial. The French used these grave markers to indicate where they fell
Remembering 1916 opens on 12 March and runs until 31 August 2016.