Tales of courage in WW1 display

Tales of courage in WW1 display

Visitors at the Bramhope WW1 exhibition

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(8349177) Some of the exhibits from the Bramhope WW1 memorabilia exhibition

First published in News Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Tales of valour and tragedy were re-told at an exhibition to commemorate the First World War.

Medals, diaries and letters were among the items displayed in the event at St Giles Church, Bramhope, on July 13.

Residents loaned more than 200 original items including documents, scrapbooks, contemporary publications,photographs and postcards.

Among the most poignant items were a balaclava worn at the Somme, War Office communications announcing the death of loved ones, the order of surrender for the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow, and a photograph album by Susan Ledlie Smith who recorded the work of her daughters, Lorna and Alison, who were nurses at the Australian Hospital in Paris.

The exhibition told sad stories of relatives who had died in the war as well as those who had survived the conflict.

Bramhope councillor John Howard said it included displays on the village during the war as well as women in WW1, but most told the story of individuals.

Among them were items which had belonged to Idwal Minshull, who lied about his age and joined up on the first day of the war aged 16, along with many of his classmates. He was wounded on the Somme but survived to the age of 82. As well as letters photographs and medals, there was Princess Mary's 1914 Christmas Present to the troops, an embossed tin containing cigarettes and sweets.

Coun Howard said: "Items from Ian Milne, whose grandfather was killed when his cargo ship was sunk by a submarine, made vistors aware of the Merchant Marine, often overlooked. Simon Brierley's collection illuminated the life of his grandfather, Clifford Brierley, a mill owner in Huddersfield who became a battalion commander in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and won the DSO for a night attack on a German trench. Amongst over 30 items, we could display the actual patrol report from the attack, a captured German bayonet and the letter from King George V awarding the medal.

"In addition there were the massive albums collated by Tony Hodgetts on the war service of his father and uncle, and the original research binders from Brian Norfolk's history of those who figure on Bramhope's War Memorials."

More than 160 people attended the display, which was held to complement the World War One Centenary Memorial Service at St Giles.

Coun Howard said: "The high standard of the exhibition was thanks to the curator, Jan Brown, a Bramhope resident who was a history teacher in Leeds for many years and the valuable advice and guidance of Dr Tracy Craggs, the noted oral history specialist who is currently working at the Royal Armouries."

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