Wednesday, 23 July 2014

In their footsteps: Richmond’s World War One legacy explored

The borough’s First World War heritage will be explored in detail as part of an exhibition created by young people to mark the start of Richmond’s four-year commemoration of the centenary of World War One.


‘In their Footsteps: Richmond’s First World War’ unravels the stories and history of the people, places, and impact the war had upon Richmond. Children and young people from across the borough worked with photographer, Othello De Souza Hartley, and designer, Jasleen Kaur, as part of the exhibition, organised by Richmond Council’s Orleans House Gallery.


Highlights include pictures and stories of the developments that took place at the Pelabon Works munitions factory, which employed nearly 2000 Belgian refugees. Comic strips which show daily life to sculptures of the many shops that opened to serve the Belgian community are included. Touching accounts of the borough’s very own ‘canary girls’, who were munitions factory workers whose skin tuned yellow due to the chemicals, have also been gathered. The children researched the lives of local soldiers such as Denis Conran who fought in the trenches and Frank Edwards who triumphantly dribbled a football during theBattle of the Loos.


Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Bond, said:


“These stories have been brought to life through objects, artwork, creative writing, photographic recreations, and narrative events. Young people explored the changes the First World War brought to the borough and captured these changes through an engaging exhibition. I would urge as many people as possible to view the exhibition and learn aboutRichmond’s First World War legacy.”


The work displayed has been produced by children and young people aged six to 21. The youngest groups explored children’s contributions to the war effort such as the National Egg Collection scheme and also the animal mascots of the South African Army - ‘Jackie’ the baboon and ‘Nancy’ the springbok.


The exhibition is funded through Heritage Lottery Fund and Richmond Council. It will be held at Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham from 2nd August until 16thNovember.


The exhibition is free. The gallery opens Tuesday to Saturday, 1.00pm to 5.30pm, and on Sunday from 2pm to 5.30pm. For more information call 020 8831 6000 or

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