Exhibition to mark First World War centenary opens in Letchworth

The exhibition at 12-14 The Arcade in Letchworth will remain open to the public for the next year

The exhibition at 12-14 The Arcade in Letchworth will remain open to the public for the next year - Credit: Archant

A free exhibition has opened exactly 100 years after Britain became involved in the First World War with the aim of telling stories of Hertfordshire people – both on the frontline and at home.

More than 100 guests were able to enter an exhibition space in Letchworth’s The Arcade for the first time last night as part of a wider Herts at War project to remember those across the county who played their part in the Great War.

The public display covers all facets of the war – which Britain entered on August 4, 1914 – and will remain open in the town for the next year after the space was offered to the organisation by the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation for free.

The Heritage Foundation’s chairman Colin Chatfield and North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald were both invited to speak prior to the exhibition being declared open.

Herts at War project co-ordinator Dan Hill and chairman Jon Grant also addressed the audience.

Mr Grant, who is head of history at Highfield School in Letchworth, said: “The centenary can feel very distant for us but this project is here in Letchworth which people from the town, county and beyond will be able to engage with and recognise. I want people to come here and say I’ve learnt something, and I want to know more.

“This exhibition is designed to only be here for a year but it’s going to travel across the county – we’ve got places like Knebworth House, Baldock, Stevenage and the new Hitchin museum which are all looking to take parts of the exhibition and make it their own. In the exhibition you’ll see aspects of Letchworth, as well as more countywide. What I would really like is for every community that involves themselves in this project to make it their own.”

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For more information about Herts at War or to get involved visit www.hertsatwar.co.uk.

• The Comet has teamed up with the organisation to provide a dedicated section on the centenary on our website, as well as releasing a digital version of the corresponding newspaper from 100 years ago every Thursday throughout 1914-1918. To view the section click on the link at the top right of the page.