Written by Marie-Dominique Demers-King

Historian, John Crockford-Hawley, whose own grandfather perished at Neuve-Chapelle in 1915, really wowed me with his knowledge of the part Weston-super-Mare played in the history of The First World War and I discovered so many interesting facts.The illustrated talk took place at Weston Museum, to mark the Armistice Day Centenary and Danny Boyle’s Armistice Commission ‘Pages of the Sea’ which takes place on Weston beach on 11 November, 1 – 3pm.

John was a fascinating speaker and a passionate historian and a rapt audience were enthralled by so many interesting facts about the contribution the area made to the ‘Great War’, including the men who died, the families which suffered, refugees given shelter, emergency hospitals, the town’s memorials and art in propoganda.

Which leads me onto my particular highlight of the evening – the work of Alfred Leete, the man behind the artwork of the iconic, war poster ‘Your Country Needs You’. 

It was an absolute honour to be able to view the actual original artwork of the famous poster right there in front of us at a special exhibition at Weston Museum and a very rare chance to see it outside its usual home in the Imperial War Museum.

The Alfred Leete:The Man Behind the Icon exhibition runs at Weston Museum until 13 January 2019.