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Location : WCML

Start date : 6th August 2014

End date : 19th December 2014

The first of our series of WW1 exhibitions probes behind the myths of war and its "glories".  It explores topics such as Salford's response to the outbreak of war, the strength of the anti-war movement locally and nationally, what happened to the campaign which had gathered momentum by 1914 to get the vote for women - and the realities of trench warfare.

On this anniversary of the start of the First World War the Library wants to commemorate it, but to do so honestly. The exhibition introduction states: ‘We will not remember the "lost" or the "fallen". We will remember 16 million dead whose lives were not given but were taken from them by politicians and generals'.

"The WCML stages a powerful argument" - Creative Tourist review

There is a series of accompanying talks on three consecutive Wednesdays at 2pm:

24 September The art of WW1 - John Sculley
Using a range of examples from painting, sculpture and architecture, Salford's Director of Museums and Heritage will show how visual art was used to communicate the country's national attitudes during and after World War One. This illustrated talk will offer insights into the creative and critical thinking of a time that will be forever remembered for the carnage of its ‘war to end all wars'.

1 October Winifred Letts, Salford poet - Cynthia Greenwood
Winifred Letts was born in 1882 in Broughton. She had a prolific writing career producing plays, poetry, short stories, children's books and an autobiography. She was a nurse during World War One and also worked as a therapeutic masseuse. She was not afraid of confronting people with worrying aspects of the First World War such as those who deserted from the army and those sent mad by the conflict.
This event also marks National Poetry Day

8 October British trade unions and the First World War - John Newsinger
When the war began Britain was in the middle of a great strike wave that the Establishment regarded as of potentially revolutionary significance. In the first six months of the year over half a million workers had taken strike action for union recognition, for the closed shop and for increased pay. The war changed this. In the second six months of 1914, the number of workers taking strike action fell to 21,000. However the unequal sacrifices that were demanded with profits rising while workers' living standards were squeezed still provoked resistance, from protests over rising food prices to South Wales miners striking for more pay, and engineering workers striking to protect their pay and conditions and in the process creating the First Shop Stewards Movement. By the end of the war the government was again worried about industrial unrest having potentially revolutionary significance.
John Newsinger is Professor in History at Bath Spa University