I visited the Trent to Trenches Exhibition at Nottingham Castle in November, just before it was to come to a close. I’d already heard many good things about it, and thankfully this was borne out on my visit. In the centenary year of the start of the First World War, the exhibition focuses on the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire at home and in the trenches during that time.
I was impressed by the amount of artefacts, letters, diaries and photos that were on display, most of which have been loaned to the exhibition by members of the public. They were laid out very clearly with a lot of information about the role Nottingham(shire) played in the war, in particular The Sherwood Foresters regiment, which is also the focus of a permanent exhibition at the Castle.
A few of my personal highlights include this Union Flag which was flown by HMS Nottingham during the Battle of Jutland. The ship sank after being hit by three torpedoes in August 1916. 40 people lost their lives. The ship’s navigating officer gave the flag to St. Mary’s Church, where it normally resides, in 1850.
The Wipers Times was the newspaper printed by soldiers fighting on the front lines, and there were examples on display from all years of the war, including the below:
There was also a lot of space dedicated to Albert Ball, probably one of the most famous of Nottingham residents who fought in the First World War. He joined the Sherwood Foresters at the outbreak of the War and then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. He earned two Distinguished Service Orders and the Military Cross. He crashed to his death in France in 1917 and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. There is a permanent memorial to him in the grounds of the Castle.
I’ve always been quite interested in wartime propaganda and the Exhibition had plenty of different types on show from around the world, not just the UK:
It was a really well-detailed and well thought out exhibition and I’m glad I finally found the time to visit.
You can find more photos of the exhibition here.