Great War will be brought to life at Braid Exhibition

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A new Heritage Lottery funded exhibition that explores the outbreak of the First World War and its impact on daily life across Mid and East Antrim will open in Mid-Antrim Museum on Thursday 11 September.

Created to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, the exhibition will explore through artefacts, photographs from the era and personal stories the impact of the outset of the War, within an exploration of the international build up to war and the conflict’s social and economic impact on the North East of Ulster between 1914 and 1915.

Entitled ‘Across the Hawthorn Hedge the Noise of Bugles’ taken from the poem Carrickfergus by Louis McNiece, which portrays his boyhood memories of the town during the War, the exhibition also aims to provide fresh perspectives on local responses to recruitment and experience of battles such as Mons, Ypres and Gallipoli.

To co-incide with the exhibition a family living history event is planned for The Braid.

On Flanders Fields will be hosted by Mid-Antrim Museum on the afternoon of Saturday 11th October from 1 – 3.30pm.

On the hundredth anniversary of the first day of the Battle of Flanders costumed Irish Great War Society members will bring alive aspects of the ordinary Irish soldier’s experience of volunteering and active service through the re-creation of a recruitment station and field medical station.

A selection of First World War era military artefacts will also be on display. IGWS members take a cross-community approach to promoting deeper understanding of what it was to serve in a range of Irish regiments and are keen to share their expertise with members of the general public. They aim to give an insight into the reality of war on the Western Front. Admission to the event is free.

On Wednesday 22 October 2014, Ballymena Times Editor and local historian Dessie Blackadder will give a talk entitled ‘Wild Colonial Boys - Ballymena Men in the Imperial Forces’ in the Studio Theatre at The Braid. Ballymena Borough Council acknowledge their link to ‘Ballymena and the Great War’ website, a valuable e-learning resource created and shared by Dessie Blackadder through The Braid website.

The Across the Hawthorn Hedge exhibition has been developed by Mid-Antrim Museums Service in partnership with Causeway Museum Service. The first of two exhibitions, Across the Hawthorn Hedge forms part of a three year heritage-based project entitled ‘On the Brink: The Politics of Conflict 1914-1916 funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund that supports community engagement with the impact and legacy of the outbreak of the First World War, the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising . Across the Hawthorn Hedge the Noise of Bugles will continue at The Braid until Tuesday 28 October.

For further information on the exhibition and/or the Across the Hawthorn Hedge workshops please contact MAMS Access Officer Maria Cagney by email: or by ringing Mid-Antrim Museum @ The Braid, Ballymena on 028 2563 5926.