Images of war
A poignant free exhibition looking at the First World War through photographs and letters with an Annan link will open to the public in the town’s museum tomorrow.
A film, narrated by young cadets from Annan, war veterans and local volunteers, has been specially commissioned for the exhibition, telling brief stories of the lives of soldiers whose portraits are in the museum’s collection.
Museum visitors will also see letters sent home by three Annan soldiers of their experiences in the trenches.
Part of the centenary commemoration for the Great War, the exhibition, Records of War: Photography and Letters from World War One, asks why people at the time chose to take the images and write the letters they did. And it encourages visitors to think about how both will be perceived in another 100 years time.
Among the exhibits are personal snapshots along with official press photographs collected by Annan photographer Frederick Gibbs during his time as a sapper on the Western Front, including a display of cameras and picture newspapers of the day.
Rene Anderson has loaned a selection of images from an archive by Captain Charles Beattie Anderson of his light-hearted snapshots and, tourist-type photographs of the places passed through as a soldier, a record of celebrating the armistice, and then the melancholy images of his return to the Somme in 1923.
Also never before exhibited are images which were pasted into nurse Nettie Nicholson’s photograph album. These are a record of her time working at Kinmount and Glen Stuart houses which were auxiliary hospitals during World War One.
The photographs are a unique record of daily life there: moments of leisure such as fancy dress and snowballing, to the realities of war, with soldiers on crutches and arms in slings.
There will also be an opportunity for visitors to share family stories or to contact museum staff if they have photographs, letters or objects to loan.
Drop in activities for families, a schools project and an outreach programme are all planned up until October 31, with the museum open 11am to 4pm Monday to Saturday.
A talk on soldier photography by an expert from the Imperial War Museum in London will be held in Annan on Thursday, October 26, at 6.30pm.
Providing care Nurse Nettie Nicholson worked at Kinmount, below left, and Glen Stuart houses, above, which were auxiliary hospitals during World War One.
On the beach Captain Charles Beattie Anderson’s snap of a bathing group on the Albanian coast during World War One
Trench warfare British soldiers with German POWs. The photo was taken by Annan’s Frederick Gibbs
Taking a break A soldier appears to be writing a journal
Auxiliary hospital Kinmount House near Annan