Helston Museum is preparing to open the first in a series of exhibitions looking back at the history of the town in World War One.
To be officially opened by the mayor Mike Thomas and deputy mayor Mark Utpon next week (August 4) this first exhibition will focus on the 59 names on Helston War Memorial, plus two who could have been included but for unknown reasons are not.
There will be a selection of photographs, personal service records, newspaper articles and stories about Helston’s lost sons, including three sets of families who lost two sons.
For visitors who are visually challenged, the museum will offer a “listening chair”. One of the museum’s volunteers is currently in the process of recording information onto a disc, which can then be listened to on headphones so that even those unable to see the displays will still be able to enjoy the exhibition.
Taking place in the upstairs gallery of the museum, the room’s glass cabinet will be transformed into a “dugout” by assistant curator Tracy Clowes and her husband, intended to look as realistic as possible.
This will be linked to a letter in the museum’s possession – the last letter to be written by one of the soldiers before he was killed. The intention is to make it as close as possible to look like someone writing a letter home.
Students from Helston Community College and Mullion School were at the museum last week, making silk banners that will be hung overhead.
It is hoped, subject to funding, this display will be followed by further exhibitions over the coming four years, looking at women at war, those who fought and survived, the home front and various aspects building up to the centenary of the end of the war, in 2018.
Other commemoration events in Helston will include the piece of grass next to the Trengrouse Way toilets being turned into a “mini arboretum.” Poppies have already been planted and have begun flowering, just in time for the centenary anniversary.
This Friday volunteers will also be planting five silver birch trees, which will act as a memorial to Helston’s fallen.
A commemorative plaque will also be added to the site, before the anniversary of August 4, the date Britain joined The Great War.
An anniversary flower festival will then take place from Saturday, August 2 through to Tuesday, August 5 at St Michael’s Church. Arrangements will be created by businesses and organisations in the town, including the Helston Packet, all under the theme of World War One.
- See the outbreak of World War One through the eyes of the Packet, with a special 8-page supplement in this week's Falmouth and Helston editions OUT NOW