History in the frame at Leeds City Museum

Recruits from Leeds signed up to the war effort on a tram.
Recruits from Leeds signed up to the war effort on a tram.
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The First World War claimed the lives of millions and had a lasting impact on those who survived and were left behind, both at home and away.

To pay special tribute, the Preservative Party, a group of young history enthusiasts based in Leeds have curated a unique exhibition at the city’s flagship museum, exploring how the lives of people from their region were affected during the conflict.

The exhibition, ‘In Their Footsteps’ at Leeds City Museum, will open on July 1 – the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Running until January 8, 2017, the exhibition will showcase the First World War’s impact on local civilians, soldiers, nurses and industrial workers, revealing the variety of communication methods from official telegrams to biscuits transformed into postcards.

It will also feature fascinating finds including a doll’s house made by a group of recuperating soldiers

With the help of West Yorkshire Archive Service and York Army Museum, the Preservative Party has knitted together touching, individual stories from those caught in a global conflict, as well as collating a special collection of items including a Victoria Cross Medal and personal diary extracts.

Eleanor Smith of the Preservative Party, and one of Leeds’ young curators , said: “It’s such a privilege to be able to work with these unique museum collections that constitute a vital part of our city’s history.”

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “The impact the First World War had on the people of Leeds was immeasurable and we must never forget the courage and determination of those whose lives the conflict changed so profoundly.”

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