What happened after the guns fell silent on the Western Front? A new exhibition in the Treasures of the Brotherton launched on Friday 30 August exploring the legacies of the First World War. The exhibition tells very personal stories of life after the War ended through a wide range of material from the Special Collections archive.

Joanne Fitton, Head of Special Collections, opened the evening by welcoming visitors to this special preview event and introducing the exhibition co-curators, Professor Alison Fell, Legacies of War Project leader, and University of Leeds PhD students Eilis Boyle and Alexander Shaw.

The curators treated the audience gathered in the Parkinson Court to a brief introduction to their favourite objects in the display. Professor Fell spoke about the mourning attire worn by Ann Denison following the tragic deaths of her daughter and grandson. Eilis told us about Reg Evans who suffered from disfigurement and continued to share his sometimes humorous of story of recovery through correspondence with his mother. Alexander couldn’t decide on one single object and so shared details of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, and drew attention to the anniversary of the Representation of the People Act.

Untitled design (35)
Exhibition case displaying material relating to Reg Evans

One hundred years after the Armistice on 11 November 1918, Goodbye to All That? explores how the War changed the lives of so many people in many different ways, and asks us to consider how we are still affected by the legacies of this conflict. There will be a programme of talks and events exploring the stories and issues raised by the exhibition, so keep an eye on our events page for more details coming soon.

The exhibition is open to all and free to visit in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery on Mondays 1pm – 5pm and Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm.