Local residents are being encouraged to enlist in a First World War exhibition in Bath by sharing their keepsakes and mementoes from the local area during the era.
“The Great War in Costume: Family & Fashion on the Home Front” – running at the Assembly Rooms, Bath, from 19th July to 5th September – will trace women’s lives and roles during World War One; their work on the home front and how that influenced the style of clothing that they adopted.
The exhibition organisers are keen to hear from anyone who may have memorabilia from the time which has a connection to Bath and North East Somerset.
Yvonne Hellin-Hobbs, curator of the Great War in Costume exhibition, said: “We’re looking for anything which may have been handed down by parents or grandparents and reflects life on the home front here in Bath and North East Somerset around 1914-1918.
“For example, it could be photographs of land girls on Batheaston farms or nursing staff in the Bath War Hospital at Combe Park; women’s timecards from working in a munitions factory; propaganda put up in local shops and Post Offices; or even letters sent home from the front line.
“Whatever you have – we’d love to hear from you so that we can consider including it in the exhibition.”
World War One changed women’s life forever; in terms of status, class, position and what was acceptable for a woman to wear.
Fashion changed with the innovation of women being required to do men’s work. The corset disappeared and trousers became a norm.
“The Great War in Costume: Family & Fashion on the Home Front” will feature examples of uniforms and civilian dress, memorabilia and propaganda, and key costumes from the period drama Downton Abbey.
Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “We’re proud that Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Heritage Services will be staging this exhibition as part of the Imperial War Museum Centenary Partnership commemorations of World War One.
“This is a great opportunity to honour the commitment of our local community to the war effort, and we encourage anybody who is in possession of such mementoes handed down by previous generations to get in touch with us.”
Anyone who would like to put forward their local First World War memorabilia for possible inclusion in the exhibition should, in the first instance email [email protected] or telephone 01225 477736 or 01225 477737.