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Leyland marks war anniversary with Antarctic commemorative exhibition

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Leyland has taken a slightly different approach to the anniversary of the start of the First World War, with the opening of a special exhibition.

Curator of South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre in Church Road, David Hunt, said: “We took a different but closely related view of August 1914, as it also marks the centenary of Shackleton’s heroic Antarctic expedition.

“This is a chance to see Frank Hurley’s remarkable photographic record of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Imperial Antarctic Expedition of 1914-16.

“This is a centrepiece of the borough’s commemoration of Britain’s declaration of war, which broke out on August 4, 1914, as the expedition ship – Endurance – was making her way out into the English Channel.

“On hearing the news Shackleton immediately volunteered the ship and crew for military service, only for Winston Churchill to telegram the single word ‘Proceed’.

“The European crisis was not thought to be particularly serious and need not stand in the way of scientific exploration.

“When they finally escaped from the ice and shipwreck two years later the party was shocked to learn that the war had spread around the world and was still raging.

“The exhibition of Hurley’s work is on loan from the Royal Geographical Society. It has been seen in New York and Edinburgh and is also an important contribution to the national celebration of the centenary of the expedition itself.”

‘The August 1914 Commemorative Exhibition: Antarctic Witness’ is on display until October 18, and was officially opened on Saturday by the mayor of South Ribble, Coun Graham Walton.

Stephen Watson performed Great War pipe tunes ‘The Battle of the Somme’ and ‘Field of Flanders’ on the bagpipes to start the proceedings, and Dr Hunt then lead a history walk called ‘Leyland’s Belgian Refugees’.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, he will give a talk and three-mile walk from the museum at 2pm, called ‘An Introduction to Leyland in the Great War’.

 

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