First World War exhibition plea for women and children documents

THE organisers of an exhibition to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War are appealing for historic documents to illustrate how the conflict affected women and children.

The exhibition at the Friends Meeting House, in Kirkgate, Thirsk, starting on August 4 is part of a series of events in the town to highlight the choices residents of the area faced having to make in 1914.

Organisers of the Choices 1914 exhibition said readers of The Darlington and Stockton Times had supplied a huge collection of propaganda posters, photos, diaries, letters and other documents.

Among the stories to be featured is that of Finkle Street bootmaker Robert Eden, who emigrated to Canada In 1912, before volunteering for the Canadian Expeditionary Force and serving at many of the most famous battles on the western front, including Vimy Ridge, Ypres and Passchendaele.

The wartime diary of Mr Eden will be on display and will show how he spent most of the war safely behind the lines as a sergeant bootmaker before being killed by a German shell in 1918, leaving his wife, Harriet, and daughters Doris and Marjorie in Thirsk.

A exhibition spokesman said: "We have found very few documents about the women and children of the time and we can only guess how war affected them.

"We would love to hear from anyone who has letters or diaries of the period so we can illustrate how the war affected the whole community."

For details about the exhibition, email jeremyshaw2013@gmail.com or call 01845-5522974.

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