Stoke-on-Trent Remembers: Exciting event celebrating the scientific legacy of WW1 comes to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

Published: Friday, 17th August 2018

An exciting new event celebrating the scientific legacy of WW1 is taking place at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday, 15 September.

The museum has received a National Lottery grant of £9,000, to host the project called ‘CSI – The Scientific Legacy of WW1’. The funding which has been awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘First World War: Then and Now’ programme, will support the project which focuses on how science and technology developed during the conflict.

While WW1 was obviously tragic in terms of loss of life, there were also tremendous technological advancements made, which we benefit from today. As part of a long running and successful collaboration between Keele University and Staffordshire University, the museum, working with academics and archaeologists from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, will put on a series of fun, interactive activities for visitors to learn more about different aspects of WW1.

On the day, visitors to the museum can enjoy a number of activities, including: using metal detectors to find hidden items in the museum grounds, making a periscope just like those used in the trenches, and using a microscope to see the creepy crawlies that infested the uniforms looked like.  There will be re-enactors in full military uniform of various ranks and best of all –  a World War I tank will be sitting outside the front entrance of the museum. Archaeologists will also show how those who died in France are still being found and recovered 100 years on to be returned to their families.

The Military Ancestry Roadshow will also be present during the day to answer any questions regarding visitors’ ancestors who took part in the War. The team of experts invites the public to bring along any medals, uniforms, photos, war records or other items from their family's military past, and they will help identify them and guide visitors to further sources of information to reveal what these items say about their relative’s military history.

There will be talks and information about the latest research into the Hawthorne Crater project on the Somme battlefield. This on-going investigation led by historians and academics from both Staffordshire and Keele Universities will provide a means of understanding the individual events that took place at the site, as well as subsequent changes to the surrounding landscape in the past 100 years. 

This promises to be a fascinating and educational day out for all ages – come along and be immersed in the amazing science that was behind the war.

Professor John Casella from Staffordshire University said: “We are delighted to work with our colleagues at Keele University to bring science into this unique event looking at the technology that came from the war….it’s science that will be fun yet educational for kids from 8 to 108.”

Dr Jamie Pringle, from Keele University, said: “We are looking forward to actively show visitors how the scientific legacy of advances made during WW1 still benefit us today, with interactive and absorbing activities planned throughout the day for all the family.”

Cllr Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “This will be one of several events taking place at the museum from now until November as part of Stoke-on-Trent Remembers.

“This is an historic time for the nation and Stoke-on-Trent wants to make sure it plays its part in marking the brave actions of those soldiers who changed the future for so many by giving up their lives.

“It’s also so important that younger generations know what has gone before in order to respect how fortunate we are today and don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. We want as many people as possible across the city to get involved.”

For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232987.