The leader of this elderly community group, Gerry Robinson, approached the Ulster Museum after viewing the Man who Shot the Great War BBC documentary featuring the story of George Hackney, whose war diaries and photographs we hold in our collection.
His group were very keen to explore more about this man who lived in Dundonald and more about the First World War. They see FWW and Somme murals in their local area and want to know more.
We devised a programme of sessions around exploring the FWW and around George Hackney.
- An introduction to the FWW: Tours of the Answer the Call propaganda exhibition and Home Rule to partition section of the Modern History Gallery.
- Exploring the Hackney diaries through FWW objects
- Hackney and FWW Photography: A closer look at the Hackney photographs and stereoscopic photography
- Medical Developments of the FWW: Exploring mental and physical trauma of the FWW and hackney’s ‘shell-shock’ experience
Feedback so far from the group has highlighted their interest in Ireland during this period 1912-1922. Verbal feedback at the time of the tours demonstrated a certain amount of prior knowledge but a lack of understanding the circumstances around the impact of the Ulster Crisis, the outbreak of the FWW and events such as the Easter Rising had on Ireland.
Did you learn anything new?
“yes, more about the war that I didn’t know before”
“yes, about the Easter Rising”
“didn’t realise the extent of the advertising (war posters)”
“my mother was a Nurse in the First World War, wonderful to see the uniforms”
“my father was in it (FWW), interesting to see the different helmets”
This group are discovering more about the FWW and are receiving an introduction of war and learning more about Hackney, a man that some of their family remember in their community. This interest has grown that they are considering applying for HLF to extend this interest and perhaps develop an art project that would consist of a memorial to George Hackney for their community. They feel it is important that no one forgets George Hackney and the part many of their young men had in the FWW.