Our brand new exhibition is now open in the Gallery on Floor 3 of the Library of Birmingham and runs until 31st December. The Voices of War exhibition commemorates the First World War and the part the people of Birmingham played. It presents a unique opportunity to see letters, photographs and documents exploring the experiences of Birmingham people in wartime.
The voices of men, women and children are taken from contemporary letters describing life in the trenches, life at home and the wishes and hopes for the future. There are letters from men at the front and postcards, medals and souvenirs from life in the trenches. Women joined them as VAD’s and nurses in field hospitals at home and abroad. In Birmingham the wheels of industry supported the war effort as thousands of munitions were produced in Birmingham’s factories by the men and women of the City. Children did their bit by raising money for the war effort – many schools were very active in fund raising. Thousands of teachers had already signed up to “do their bit” and schools worked hard to support them.
The exhibition explores what we know about Birmingham’s black and Asian communities and their contributions, as well as the support given by millions of soldiers from across the Empire.
The Voices of War were many and varied; there were different opinions on the morality of the war and of the government’s responses. Conscientious objectors and opponents of conscription can be heard discussing their reasons for taking a different viewpoint. Political, religious and moral arguments all had their part to play in the debate. We tell the story of Alan, Eric, Ronald and Gerald Lloyd, four brothers from Birmingham whose convictions led them down different paths during the course of the war.
To complement the exhibition a brand new book “Birmingham Remembering 1914-18” is now available price £12.99 which explores the story in greater depth.
There is also a whole series of events to accompany the exhibitions, details of which can be found on the library website.
Guided Tours of the Voices of War exhibition in the company of one of our expert Curators are taking place throughout the season:
18 October 2pm – 3pm
4 November 6pm – 7pm
18 November 2pm – 3pm
3 December 2pm – 3pm
Tickets available from The Box Tel: 0121 245 4455 or online http://www.birmingham-box.co.uk