World War One exhibition at Craven libraries

Reality hits home exhibition launch. Picture by Rob Freeman.
Reality hits home exhibition launch. Picture by Rob Freeman.

A First World War exhibition held recently at The Museum of North Craven Life (The Folly) in Settle is touring north Craven libraries as part of Craven’s ongoing First World War commemorations.

Display panels and artefacts from the ‘1915: Reality Hits Home’ exhibition, which contrasts the frontline experiences of volunteers with life in North Craven during the first full year of war, will be on display in Settle, Ingleton and Bentham libraries until Christmas.

Visitors to Bentham library can learn about the role of Padres including the Rev Harry Blackburn and local hero Rev Theodore Bayley Hardy, an army chaplain from Bentham, who was the most highly decorated non-combatant in the Great War. His heroism in staying with the wounded in incredibly dangerous situations and tending to their wounds, won him the DSO, the Military Cross and the Victoria Cross.

Meanwhile, users of Settle library can find out about Bertram Lambert, the Settle-born inventor of the gas respirator, which saved numerous lives during the conflict and discover what happened to the Settle territorials when they landed in France.

Meanwhile, Ingleton library will be hosting information about fund raising on the home front and letters sent home from the fighting on the front line.

Display panels from last year’s hugely successful ‘War Beckons’ exhibition at The Folly will also be exhibited at Skipton library. The panels, which focus on the role that local volunteers and horses played in the war effort, will be on display until the middle of November.

Anne Read, honorary curator at The Folly, said: “We are delighted that this year’s exhibition is having an extended life in other parts of Craven; it is important that as many people as possible have the opportunity of learning about the lives and contributions of our forebears 100 years ago and we invite anyone with further information or stories to get in touch.”

A new exhibition planned for next year at The Folly will continue to follow the fortunes of our local soldiers as they face the horrors of the Somme and will also consider conscription and Craven’s Conscientious Objectors, together with the role of medical personnel, including nurses.

The exhibition is part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Craven and the First World War project which is running a series of events and exhibitions to mark the centenary in the Craven district over the next two years.