The Wells Remembers exhibition marks the centenary of the First World War, telling the story of the events of a hundred years ago. You will experience the sights and sounds of the trenches, discover curious and disturbing artefacts, and follow the stories of individuals from Wells and the surrounding villages.
The displays cover the home front and the fighting front, bringing together material from Wells City Archives, the museum collections of images and artefacts, and a wide range of objects which have generously been lent to the Wells Remembers project. These include artefacts from The Knight Collection: a fascinating archive of weapons, uniforms and equipment from the Great War.
An immersive trench experience also forms part of the Wells Remembers galleries. Scroll down to discover more.
The Trench Experience
Ascend the sweeping staircase towards the first floor galleries and your eye will be drawn to a dimly lit opening surrounded by sandbags, corrugated metal and weathered signage. Follow the sound of muffled voices and the tapping of morse code, and you will be immersed in the sights and sounds of a First World War trench. Continue through the corridor to listen to the conversations of tommies from Wells and their preparations to go over the top.
With its atmospheric lighting, battlefield soundscape and life-sized models, children and adults alike find our trench experience surprisingly immersive. Please note that it is possible to bypass this section entirely and go straight to the upstairs galleries.
The galleries opened in August 2014 to coincide with the centenary of the start of the First World War. Funding for this project is gratefully acknowledged from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £8,500, along with a matching contribution from local donors. Wells Remembers has been created in partnership with: Wells City Council, Wells Cathedral School, Wells Blue School, The Wells Journal, Wells Cathedral, The Bishop's Palace, and the Wells Branch of the Royal British Legion. Thanks to Geoff Dixon and all who contributed to creating the impressive and poignant trench experience.
LEST WE FORGET...
By Sue Curragh and Pete Trueman
A Poignant New Book about Wells and the First World War
A fascinating and timely book about Wells and the First World War, published by Wells & Mendip Museum.
Entitled “Lest we forget … The men on the Wells War Memorial who died in the Great War”, it has been written by Sue Curragh and Pete Trueman, and forms part of the museum’s Wells Remembers project.
The book tells the moving and poignant stories of the 99 men named on the Wells War Memorial who died in the First World War. It tells of the lives they led before and during the war, and of the families they left behind.
The book is currently on sale at Wells & Mendip Museum, priced at £10.
Many men from Wells signed up to fight in the First World War. They came from all walks of life. Some expected to do their duty for a short space of time only, believing that the war would be over by Christmas; others joined up later in the war. Between them they had very varied experiences.
Some died early in the war whereas others nearly made it through. Some died of illness shortly after the war. Some never left England, whereas others fought as far away as East Africa. Some were born and brought up in Wells, whilst others were born abroad.