19th January 2015

Grasmere and the Great War Exhibition at Wordsworth Museum

The Wordsworth Museum at Dove Cottage in Grasmere is currently hosting an exhibition detailing the contribution given by the people of Grasmere to the First World War.  A total of twenty four men and one woman lost their lives during the battles of the war and many others were wounded. As the total of people joining the army from the village was one hundred and twenty five, Grasmere lost more inhabitants than the national average. This exhibition highlights both individual stories of the troops on the front line and what conditions were like back home.

In the village although rationing was introduced, it seemed the war was a long way away as many tourists still visited the area, although many villagers rallied round to send aid parcels to those fighting over in France and Belgium. The exhibition includes many letters sent from the soldiers, their scrapbooks, and posters from the drive to encourage ordinary folks to enlist in the army. Several medals and other items of military interest are also on display.

The village's preparations for war and its traditions are explained in depth, before moving on to the stories of those who were in the thick of the action serving in the trenches. The final section deals with the celebrations which took place when the war was finally over and the story behind the building of the Grasmere war memorial which was erected to commemorate those who had laid down their lives for their country.

A great deal of research for the exhibition has been compiled by the Grasmere History Group and their findings have been stored on a computer database which visitors can interrogate using a terminal within the museum to search for people, places and battles where Grasmere soldiers fought during the war. The exhibition is open until March 1st 2015.