New exhibition to show what Cornwall was like in World War One
Written by The Cormorant Hotel
Thousands of men and women left Cornwall between 1914 and 1918, after eagerly signing up to represent the country. Unfortunately, many did not survive and the hundreds of memorials in churches, chapels, villages and towns bear witness to this. The list of those who did not survive is long and many surnames are repeated, proving many families lost more than one son or daughter during this time of conflict.
The project focusses on how the people of Cornwall kept body and soul together during that frightful time and how they lived and loved. Whilst not everyone makes the history books, everyone has a story to tell, and Heart of Conflict highlights previously untold stories of human bravery and endurance, in a celebration of the spirit of Cornwall.
The exhibition highlights the role played by Cornish heritage, which remains to be a large part of culture today. It looks at the families who struggled with financial hardship while waiting on the return of their husbands and sons. Young women, who were forced to work on the land, in munition factories and in the mines in order to keep traditional Cornish industries afloat, as well as support their remaining families as best they can.
Furthermore, the exhibit examines the equally heroic stories of men who were forced to stay at home, to do the unsung but vitally important work to keep the cogs of the war machine going. This includes mining, farming or fishing, all of which continue to play an integral part to Cornwall's economy today.
Project titles within the exhibit include War and Faith, Women at War, Rugby at the Front, Bravery at sea, Cornwall's Women Land Army, Long Distance Love and Mending bodies and spirit as well as a look at a few specific family histories.
The overall objective of the Heart of Conflict, is to ensure memories are preserved and to remember the actions of those who sacrificed their lives so readily, as well as to celebrate the lives and heritage of those who were lucky enough to return.
The heart of conflict exhibit is at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro and is open throughout the year, Monday to Saturday, 10am - 4.45pm.
Image credit: yeowatzup