Doncaster 1914-18: Keep the Home Fires Burning

The final exhibition in the Doncaster 1914-1918 series, this exhibition continues to celebrate the connections made and stories found throughout the four years of the project. It explores how Doncaster contributed towards the World War 1 war effort from peoples homes, the changing roles of women, nursing and hospitals, entertainment, and communication from the trenches.

The narrative also discusses the lives of Belgian Refugees in WW1 and makes comparisons with todays refugees across the globe. Working with local refugee groups pieces of art were created to draw comparisons between the present day and the past as well as relaying emotions and stories through a commissioned film.

Local communities and volunteers were engaged and helped research and co-produce content. The Creative Core also facilitated a workshop to help the volunteer team understand our design process and how their ideas help form the final result for the visitor.

Our design took cues from fighting the war from within the home – timber houses displayed graphics, interactives and artefacts, including an emotive display of embroidered postcards sent from the trenches.

A recreation hospital at the end of the gallery, drew visitors through the exhibition, whilst quotes and facts were printed onto bedsheets, bedside tables and a nurses desk, reinforcing the link between these objects and real people.

Hands on engagements include a steady-hand game based on women working in munitions factories - they had to be extremely careful when working to avoid injury or danger to others. A snakes and ladders game tells visitors about the climbs and pitfalls of munition workers, a bandaging interactive inspires budding nurses, and a digital database links war memorials and local soldiers in Doncaster.