The Working Class Movement Library’s exhibition, The Great War: myths and realities, opens on Wednesday 6 August. It explores topics such as Salford’s response to the outbreak of war, the strength of the anti-war movement locally and nationally, what happened to the campaign which had gathered momentum by 1914 to get the vote for women – and the realities of trench warfare.
On this anniversary of the start of the First World War the Library wants to commemorate it, but to do so honestly. The exhibition introduction states: ‘We will not remember the “lost” or the “fallen”. We will remember 16 million dead whose lives were not given but were taken from them by politicians and generals’.
Veronica Trick, a member of the volunteer exhibition team, said: ‘By camouflaging this hideous event with heroic language we make the next war more likely. We believe that there is only one morally acceptable way to remember WW1 and that is to look honestly at past wars to develop strategies for the prevention of future wars.’
The exhibition is open during the Library drop-in times, Wed-Fri 1-5pm, until 19 December 2014.
There will be a series of free talks accompanying the exhibition on Wednesdays at 2pm:24 September 2014 The art of WW1 – John Sculley 1 October 2014 Winifred Letts, local poet – Cynthia Greenwood 8 October 2014 British trade unions and the First World War – John Newsinger.
The Working Class Movement Library was founded by the late Ruth and Edmund Frow in the 1950s and is now acknowledged as one of the most important collections of historical material on radical working class organisations in the country. The Library is open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. At other times visitors are welcome to make appointments to view or use the collection. Admission to the library is free.
Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent, Salford M5 4WX
Tel 0161 736 3601