July 29th, 2014

Wanaka tree

Somerset Remembers the First World War

As you will know if you read my entry last week, on Friday evening I was privileged to attend a preview and official opening of a new exhibition at The Museum of Somerset in Taunton. It was a gorgeous evening and standing in the courtyard of Taunton Castle, glass of lemonade in hand (I was driving as always) mingling with the other invited guests and watching colleagues working themselves into a frenzy, was a great experience.

We were all eager to see the new exhibition, but first had to go through the ritual of welcoming speeches and acknowledgements of all the hard work that had been put in to get us where we were.

Here are a few pictures - not mine because I didn't feel it was appropriate to take my camera along. I had a quick look around the exhibition and promised myself to go back when there weren't as many people around and more time to take it all in.

I was really impressed by the artwork in the centre of the room (in this photo, the soldier with his back to you). It was specially commissioned for the exhibition and is created using poppy seeds.

My colleagues, Helen (designer) and Sam (curator) preparing some of the exhibits.

At the end of the exhibition there is a painting of this man, Harry Patch. He died, aged 111, only a few years ago. He was the last man alive who fought in the trenches on the Western Front and was a Somerset man through and through. I think this is an incredible picture showing his warmth and intelligence. He didn't talk about his part in the war until he was over 100, then he realised that talking about it might actually help to prevent something like that happening again. He was truly remarkable.