Road to War exhibition and events programme mark WW1 centenary

A special exhibition at Experience Barnsley, exploring the impact of the First World War on the borough’s residents opens from Monday, 22 September.

The Road to War marks the centenary of the First World War and includes items which have been generously donated and loaned items by Barnsley residents, which will tell the stories of the borough’s people - soldiers, nurses and those at home.

Running until Sunday, 11 January, it will explore the first year of the conflict, looking at local recruitment and the fever of call up for Barnsley soldiers.

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “This exhibition will provide a real insight into how the First World War affected the people of Barnsley folk, really bringing home the impact it had locally, as well as nationally and internationally.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of free talks and events, all at Experience Barnsley.

The first of a series of family history surgeries takes place on Wednesday, 24 September. People can find out more about their ancestors who fought in the First World War using online resources in this free 30 minute session with a member of the Archives team, which provides one-to-one advice on how to start off research.

A talk on tracing First World War ancestors takes place on Monday, 29 September at 7pm. Thousands of digitised military records are now available online, allowing the public to piece together the career of a First World War soldier ancestor. This talk delivered by an experienced genealogist, introduces researchers to these records and analyses how to get the best out of them.

There’s also an opportunity to create a wire poppy sculpture on Saturday, 27 September which will be part of a poignant spectacle in the town hall gardens for Remembrance Sunday.

The full programme of events is available to view here and can also be picked up from Experience Barnsley Museum.

Further exhibitions in 2016 and 2018 will follow the story of Barnsley’s soldiers, through call up to armistice, discovering how the war affected their lives and the lives of their families at home.