The 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme


 The Mayor viewing Ian Banfield's original painting of Archie Paxton, who had died on the first day of the Somme battle

This was not an exhibition which you could pop in to have a quick look at while waiting for the Westbourne bus. There were no pretty pictures in bright colours; the objects on display were not arranged to show off the designers' talents; the historical facts and figures of the Battle of the Somme are already well-documented.
This was an exhibition which made you look, read, consider, look and read again........and remember that the Battle of the Somme hit Emsworth hard.

On the walls were ten panels, describing all aspects of wartime life on the Front and here at home, right down to the shortages of food and other essentials. The political and the personal were both represented, backed up by old photographs, maps and charts, poetry, cartoons and personal letters. The starkness of their black-and-white was only relieved by a beautiful postcard-sized painting of blood-red poppies in the lower left hand corner of each panel. The central display cabinets held items such as personal memorabilia and books, including David Rudkin's "Emsworth during the First World War". And in the Research Room there was more to see, and to hear on CDs.
There was such a wealth of information that I could not take it all in at one go, but I saw enough to know that this exhibition was a worthy tribute to the men of Emsworth who lost their lives in the Great War.


Pictures John Tweddel