CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Yorkshire Life today CLICK HERE

Harrogate’s First World War experiences are brought to life at the Royal Pump Room

PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 August 2014

Brothers Eddie and George Chapman on home leave

Brothers Eddie and George Chapman on home leave

Archant

Ordinary people did extraordinary things during the Great War; a fact that’s being celebrated in a new exhibition at the Royal Pump Room Museum in Harrogate, where stories of bravery, spirit and gumption are being put in the spotlight.

Donald Bell, the first professional footballer to enlist and one of Harrogate's three Victoria Cross awardeesDonald Bell, the first professional footballer to enlist and one of Harrogate's three Victoria Cross awardees

Everyday life recorded in a soldier's diary from 1916Everyday life recorded in a soldier's diary from 1916

Letters, photographs and personal objects on loan from local families, as well as selected items from the museum’s own collection, tell the extraordinary stories of so-called ordinary people. They reveal why three local men were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration for valour in the face of the enemy; how 19-year-old Betty Stephenson left Harrogate to work in a YMCA canteen for soldiers in France; and what happened to local brothers George and Eddie Chapman as they served in the Machine Gun Corp and the Royal Navy.

‘It’s nice to have them remembered as men from Harrogate; ordinary rank and file men who were doing their duty,’ said their nephew, who has loaned the museum photographs of his brave relatives for inclusion in the exhibition.

Visitors can read fascinating letters sent home to Harrogate by men serving in the war, revealing the conditions they were struggling with in the trenches and giving valuable insight into the daily dangers they faced.

‘We are focusing on personal stories relating to people’s wartime experiences and the impact of the Great War on people from the Harrogate area,’ said collections assistant Nicola Baxter. ‘There’s also a special section where First World War objects belonging to the ancestors of the museum’s staff are displayed.’

Among the numerous stories of valour is that of Captain Henry Watson Lindsley, a civil engineer in civilian life, who was awarded the Military Cross for carrying water from a shell-hole to douse a fire in an ammunition dump. When he returned home, he also made his mark on Harrogate by helping to create the new market hall that opened in 1939.

A Town at War: Harrogate During the First World War is at the Royal Pump Room Museum in Crown Place until December 31st. For more information, phone 01423 556188 or email museums@harrogate.gov.uk.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Yorkshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Yorkshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Yorkshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Graham Denison is a projectionist at the Ritz cinema in Thirsk, one of the oldest cinemas in the country, staffed by a team of volunteers

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

It’s more than likely the toughest rowing race in the world but four friends just couldn’t refuse the challenge, as Martin Pilkington reports.

Read more
Monday, September 24, 2018

Tom Rowe is husbandry supervisor at The Deep, the award-winning aquarium in Hull which is the biggest in the UK and home to over 3,500 fish

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Support grows for devolution and a greater say in shaping the future of Yorkshire. Richard Darn reports

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tinnitus sufferers are being invited to use a new online, sound matching tool to help better understand their type of tinnitus and the potential treatments available to them.

Read more
Monday, September 3, 2018

Maunby Investment Management in Harrogate has offered expert advice on asset and wealth management since 1982. They explain how you can put plans in place to reduce any future inheritance tax liability.

Read more
Thursday, August 23, 2018

We begin a new series inviting readers to tell us about their unusual place of work

Read more
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Keith Emerson and Robert Berry were planning a follow-up to their 1988 3 recording at the time of Emerson’s death. Berry is now about to release the new album, a remarkable memorial to Emerson.

Read more

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Property Search