Lest We Forget Exhibition: A Port Town at War

bradBrad Beaven, is the guest curator of the new Lest We Forget exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum. The exhibition is the centre-piece event of Portsmouth City Council’s commemoration of the First World War.

Portsmouth City Museum, in partnership with the University of Portsmouth, was awarded £97,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Lest We Forget project which encourages community groups, families and individuals to contribute to the exhibition.

The starting point for Lest We Forget was the museum and archive collections which hold material relating to over 200 individuals who experienced the War at the front or at home. Brad Beaven explained how the project evolved. ‘Work for the exhibition began earlier in the year when we put a call out to our own students, community groups and schools for help in researching the individuals and objects in the collection. The response has been fantastic and we have a really impressive level of community engagement from groups uncovering personal experiences of the war to choirs singing war songs for our “sound showers” in the exhibition’. The University has had a significant input into the exhibition as Dr Mel Bassett, a History Research Associate, and a team of undergraduate history students joined Brad in researching the archives and Museum collection for material.

Visitors to the exhibition are also encouraged to get involved. ‘Research hubs’ have been set-up in the exhibition to allow people to research names of individuals and objects in the collection. Brad commented that ‘with over 200 names in the exhibition we have gaps in our knowledge and we’d encourage visitors to add to our growing collection of personal stories’. The Exhibition runs from the 19 July 2014 to 25 January 2015.

How You Can Get Involved

Add details of your ancestors to the Tale of One City Community History website.


Add details of your World War One projects to the Community history website under the topics and places sections.   http://www.ataleofonecity.portsmouth.gov.uk

Please do let us know if you are working on a local community history or schools project relating to the First World War – We can list your project on the web site.  We are also working directly working with some community groups to support their projects.  lestweforget@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

The project coordinator would be pleased to visit your group to tell your more about the project. Let us know if you are interested.

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