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“Peace at Last” – how Warrington greeted the end of World War 1

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THE final instalment of Warrington Museum and Art Gallery’s First World War commemorative exhibitions is now open.
Peace at Last explores the return to peace, what life was like for soldiers coming home from the horrors of war and how life for Warrington’s inhabitants changed forever.
After the prolonged strain and anxiety of war, Warrington abandoned itself to rejoicing on November 11, 1918 when“there was much cheering, singing and general jubilation”.
Janice Hayes, heritage manager for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, said: “This was a period of jubilant celebration, an end to the horror of war.
“But it was also a sombre moment in history, a time to reflect.
“Peace at Last explores the transition from wartime to peace and how society evolved to accommodate returning soldiers, and marks the beginning of the act of remembrance.”
Among the items on display are mementos and ephemera belonging to Warrington soldiers, World War One charitable organisations, memorials set up around the Warrington borough and some of the commemoratives produced to celebrate peace at the end of the war.
Visitors will also have a chance to see a number of special items on loan from National Museums Liverpool and Cheshire Records Office.
Throughout 2018 Warrington history groups and schools have been carrying out research on their community’s involvement in the war and visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to do the same at the Local Studies and Archives section in the neighbouring Warrington Library.
A series of workshops for schools is running alongside the exhibition until November 16 giving children an opportunity to learn about what the First World War meant to the people of Warrington.
Janice added: “Remembrance is so vital, not just in this centenary year but always, so it’s important we educate the next generation.
“It’s been wonderful to see children being given an insight into the life of a real soldier; they’ve had the chance to take part in practice drills, dress up in full replica soldiers’ uniforms and explore military records.
“We hope the experience will stay with them and that the exhibition will remind us all how fortunate we are to live in a time of peace.”

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