Research Visit to the Firing Line Museum – 14th June, 2016

I enjoyed my visit to the Firing Line Museum, there was a great deal of information available. However, it was the personal items that interested me the most; objects that told a story about the people involved in the war. My own work is inspired by memory, conversations and stories, so it is easy to see why I was drawn to these items. I particularly liked the embroidered cards, as in an age before mobile phones and emails, a letter would have been such a special thing to receive.

The staff were very helpful and Ian in particular, showed me around and offered me some old display boards if I felt I could use them for the project. There were three that really interested me.

The group of men in civilian clothes appeared to be possible recruits to fight in the war and I liked the rifleman as it signified the war front to me. However, the photograph of the soldiers doing the washing, appealed to me greatly. There was something about seeing this domestic task being carried out in an area of conflict, knowing that it was also being carried out on the home front too. Although there was a distance between loved ones they were sharing a commonality. It also occurred to me that there was a role reversal being inflicted on men and women. At normal times it would have been unlikely for men to be carrying out domestic tasks such as the washing and at home women were having to step up and carry out jobs that were generally deemed as ‘men’s work’.

Tonight I have lots of ideas racing around in my head and I am really looking forward to meeting the group tomorrow.