The Glass Tank at Oxford Brookes recently hosted the exhibition, ‘Beyond the Western Front: Oxfordshire in World War One’ (18 November – 16 December 2016). Re-live the display by viewing the exhibition catalogue here.
On 28th November 2016, the Centre for Hidden Histories was very pleased to support the blessing of a headstone dedicated to the memory of two First World War Belgian refugees, Frans Buyssens and Henri Burghys. Dr Hannah Ewence (University of Chester) has been leading a Centre for Hidden Histories community research project on Belgian refugees who came to Cheshire during the 1914-1918 conflict. Approximately, 250,000 Belgians came to Britain during the First World War, of which approximately 250 resided in Cheshire.
November’s ceremony was the result of research conducted by community historian Alan Lowe (Northwich and District Heritage Society). Lowe discovered that Buyssens and Burghys were the only two deaths in Mid Cheshire. Buyssens, died of Peritonitis aged around ten in February 1915 and Henri Joseph Burghys, also aged around ten, died following surgery at the Victoria infirmary (June 1915). Local chemical industrialist and political liberal, Sir John Brunner paid for the boys funerals in 1915. However, until November of this year, their graves have gone unmarked. Following an approach by Lowe, Tata Chemicals Europe who brought the Brunner Mond Company in 2005, kindly agreed to honour Sir John Brunner’s legacy by paying for the headstone.
Dr Tudor Georgescu’s Centre for Hidden Histories exhibition, ‘Beyond the Western Front: Oxfordshire in the First World War’ is currently being displayed at The Glass Tank, Oxford Brooks (18 November – 16 December 2016). This exhibition is an exploration of the First World War involvement of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry battalion and the Queens Own Oxfordshire in military actions in Ireland, Italy, the Balkans, the Middle East and Russia. Coalescing with the participatory ethos of the AHRC First World War Engagement Centres, the exhibition is the result of research conducted by fourteen local people, museum volunteers and Oxford Brookes students. These project participants are: Jeff Clements, Jane Cotter, Louisa Fagan, Jim Grundy, Peter Johnston, Shelia King, Mark McKay, Jean Mills, Kevin Northover, Paul Otter, John Sheldon, Kathleen Tunnicliffe, Steve Warner and Janet Witcomb.