Solihull – VIJAY SHAH via DAVID IRWIN and BirminghamLive
The central England town of Solihull, which lies close to the major city of Birmingham, has launched a World War I historical exhibition to commemorate the locals who gave their lives and who fought gallantly in the ‘Great War’, which saw its centenary last year. The exhibition will feature tales of an underage soldier, a recipient of the Victoria Cross, and two soldier siblings who perished within two hours of each other on the gloomy battlefields of continental Europe.
As reported by city paper the Birmingham Mail and featured on its BirminghamLive news portal, the exhibition, entitled ‘Solihull Remembers 1914-1918’ is being held at the The Core’s Heritage Gallery. The Core is a council-owned community building based in the city’s Touchwood district. The event will run until 2nd of February, 2019, organisers say.
The exhibition will feature detailed displays and imagery of the time, as well as telling the stories of Solihull residents who answered the call for their country. It is the result of four years of painstaking research by the heritage and local studies service of Solihull Council, who uncovered the accounts of 800 Solihullians who died in World War I. In addition to telling stories from the front line, the exhibition will also show the public the contributions of women who joined auxiliary staff who assisted the war effort, often facing grave dangers themselves.
Tracey Williams, a council heritage and local studies librarian who was leader of the research team at the council that researched the material for the exhibits, told the Birmingham Mail: “At the latest count we have 811 casualties … the challenge has been to bring their stories to life, so it isn’t just a list of names.
“Unfortunately there are still some people we have not been able to identify, which when you consider what they went through is quite upsetting.”
Local councillor Joe Tildesley, who is cabinet member for leisure, tourism and sport and himself a descendant of a World War I soldier, praised the ‘tremendous work’ that went into organising the exhibition. He said: “It’s important that we remember all those who were killed in action,”. Solihull’s mayor, Flo Nash, who officially opened the exhibition, added: “This helps you appreciate what people lost all those years ago,”
“So many young people lost their lives and so many families lost loved ones.”
interactive storytelling, ICIDS, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/icids/lists/interactive-storytelling
Solihull Updates, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/SolihullUpdates
“Visiting Solihull’s First World War exhibition” – David Irwin, BirminghamLive/Reach plc. (4 January 2019) https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/visiting-solihulls-first-world-war-15626975