Remembering the fallen

The human cost of the First World War has become one of its defining legacies. It was a global conflict that changed the lives of millions of people.

Lest We Forget? at IWM North explored how the war has been remembered and the ways in which people have commemorated the dead – from the intensely personal, private rituals to the sombre national ceremonies.

In this video, exhibition curator Laura Clouting discusses the themes the exhibition covered and highlights some of the objects on display.

She explains why the Kenyon Report, which outlined the need for a ‘common plan’ for the commemoration of the war dead in cemeteries far from Britain, was so revolutionary and looks at how local communities remembered their dead. The Loughborough Carillon Tower was just one of thousands of memorials unveiled during the 1920s.

The exhibition also explored the ways in which individuals, families and friends remembered those they had lost - from veterans holding reunion dinners to families keeping the belongings of the fallen safe for years.

One poignant example of this are the personal possessions of Private Albert Tattersall, who was just 23 when he died after being injured on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Lest We Forget? also examined how remembrance is represented in popular culture and how forms of state remembrance have evolved, including how the concept for the Cenotaph changed from initial design to final construction in 1920. Visitors could see one of the original sketches drawn by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.

The objects featured in this video were on display as part of Lest We Forget? at IWM North from 27th July 2018 until 24th February 2019.

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