The pilot who beat the odds to survive and return home; the casualty who never got to smoke his cigarettes; the wife and child who prayed in vain for their husband and father on the Western Front; and the soldier who wrote home in celebration of Armistice at the end of the First World War on 11 November 1918.
These stories, showing how the First World War shaped the lives of millions, are on display at IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, in Manchester, marking the First World War Centenary.
This Remembrance, Imperial War Museums (IWM) is encouraging everyone to actively remember their own First World War connection and to share their stories with family and friends. Your First World War connection could be a relative who fought, a person listed on your local war memorial or the story of someone on display at IWM that has inspired you.
Visitors to IWM North on Remembrance Sunday 9 November can discover Lives of the First World War, the online digital memorial to the millions of people who contributed to the British war effort during the First World War. Join Charlotte Czyzyk, Life Story Co-ordinator for the project, to delve deeper into personal stories from IWM North’s special exhibition From Street To Trench: A World War That Shaped A Region. Learn how to research your own personal connections to the conflict – who will you remember on Lives of the First World War? The sessions, at 11.45am and 1.45pm ,are free.
From Street To Trench: A World War That Shaped A Region is the largest exhibition ever created about the people of the North West of England during the First World War. The exhibition explores the legacy of the conflict on society today, including a triumph motorcycle which toured all 53 Thankful Villages in the UK where there is no war memorial, because all men returned home alive.
A Closer Look: Remembrance tours reveal how those lost in conflict are remembered, from the First World War to the present day. Explore the stories on display at IWM North, which has been running every afternoon from 3 and will end on 11 November. See the locket cherished by Sarah Storey after her sweetheart John Brooks was killed in action during the First World War, and hear how the family of Major Matthew Bacon, who died while serving in Iraq, remember him , daily, in their lives.
Matthew Bacon’s moving story is also the focus of the Remembrance Big Picture Show, playing daily at 2pm (weekdays) and 3pm (weekends). An experience unique to IWM North, this 360-degree audio-visual show uses photographs, moving images and surround sound to create a fully immersive experience.
There will be a two minute silence at 11am on Remembrance Sunday and after the 3pm showing of the Big Picture Show a Bugler from the Royal Northern College of Music will perform The Last Post, as part of a mass participation project in which performances are taking place across the UK.
Throughout the Remembrance weekend on 8 and 9 November family visitors to IWM North can create a unique field of poppies using collage and handle a real First World War memorial plaque from IWM's collection.
Graham Boxer, Director of IWM North, said:
‘IWM was founded in 1917 even before the war had finished, so traumatic and momentous was this conflict. One hundred years on, sacrifices continue to be made in conflict today. This year IWM North is giving visitors the chance to actively remember the sacrifices of the First World War, by exploring our museum, joining one of our tours, or uploading their own connections to Lives of the First World War.’
Find out more at www.iwm.org.uk or connect with @IWMNorth on Twitter.