World War One exhibition launches in Honiton

18:22 28 July 2014

Tony Simpson gets ready for the launch of his new exhibition Documents of a Great War Soldier.

Tony Simpson gets ready for the launch of his new exhibition Documents of a Great War Soldier.

Archant

The impact on wives and families who lost loved ones during the battles of World War One will be explored in a new exhibition in Honiton.

The exhibition, Documents of a Great War Soldier, runs from Saturday, July 26, to August 9, at Honiton Library.

It features what are thought to be the last letters sent by Royal Engineer Sapper James Morris from the trenches to his wife and family before he was shot by a sniper in August 1916.

A ‘killed in action’ telegram, a letter from a commanding officer and padre to his family, and other documents from his family will be on display.

Community historian Tony Simpson, who has put together the exhibition about his grandfather, said: “Much of the commemoration of World War One naturally focuses on those who fought especially those who died. I wanted to show the impact on wives and families who also paid the supreme sacrifice for many years after the war, such as those of James Morris, who was my grandfather.

“On average 400 killed-in -action notices went out every day of the war.

“In my street alone 90 men went to war and 13 widows had a letter from the King which my grandmother said he could not possibly have written.”

Mr Simpson says the story of Sapper Morris, who was 43 and a father of six, is a rather unusual one. He served in two different regiments. Prior to the war he had served 12 years as a professional soldier in the South Wales Borders but was discharged from the reserves when war began.

In 1916, after heavy losses in Kitchener’s volunteer army, James enlisted in the Royal Engineers; as a miner he was posted to a tunnelling company and was sent to the Flanders front where he was killed in action.

As part of the exhibition a letter from Defence Minister Lord Astor in 2013 to James’s family will be on display.

They requested that James’promotion, which had been recommended before he was killed, is honoured for the centenary of World War One on August 4.

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 Midweek Herald 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 Midweek Herald 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 Midweek Herald 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

Other News Stories

Mon, 07:51
Seaton NatWest Bank - set to close in March. Photo Chris Carson

Campaigners say replacing NatWest branch with a mobile unit for an hour once a week is “wholly inadequate”

Read more
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Author Graham Hurley

Acclaimed crime writer Graham Hurley is giving a talk in Lympstone this week.

Read more
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Exmouth in action at Chard

It has been an eventful rugby week for yours truly with both my teams winning on the road.

Read more
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Exeter City - East Devon Grecians

With three successive defeats prior to last weekend, City’s previous recent run of good form had surprisingly stuttered to a halt, writes Gareth Hughes.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition

Honiton's trusted business finder