Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June
Tales of wartime endeavour are Brought to Life during Spring Half Term.
Every day between 10.30am and 2.30pm, visitors have the opportunity to handle items from a range of military campaigns, comparing and contrasting objects from the past and present. By getting hands-on with military equipment, they can learn more about the war as it was fought on the front line.
Visitors can learn more about the meaning of bravery in the field of conflict, making their own individual medals and then finding out the history and meaning behind such accolades.
On Wednesday 1, Thursday 2, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June between 11.00am and 1.00pm, veterans from a wide range of military conflicts will be chatting to visitors about their experiences and sharing their own personal memories of their time at war.
Veterans from the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Army and the Home Front from the Second World War will be present, together with ex-servicemen from the Royal Anglian Regiment and the Parachute Regiment who served in the Malayan Conflict, the Falklands War and Northern Ireland, in addition to veterans of the Korean War.
Men and women of varying ages, backgrounds and experiences, they have fascinating and individual stories to tell about their own personal war. Veterans will have artefacts and photographs with them, which they are happy to discuss with visitors.
Veterans attending Brought to Life include:
· A member of the Royal Anglian Regiment (1986 to 1994) who served in Germany, the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, the UK and Canada.
· An Able Seaman in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.
· A Second World War evacuee who later served in the Royal Navy.
· A Second World War RAF electrician responsible for keeping airfields operational.
· A National Service conscripted serviceman who served in Trieste and then in the Korean War from 1951to 1952.
· A member of the Royal Anglian Regiment and the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry.
· A Sergeant in the Army during the Second World War.
· A member of the Parachute Regiment (1982 to 2003) who completed seven tours of Northern Ireland and served in the Falklands War.
· A Petty Officer in the Royal Navy during the Second World War who served in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
· A member of the Parachute Regiment (1971 to 1974) who completed four tours of Northern Ireland and who also carried out Jungle Warfare Training in Malaya.
· A member of the 1st Battalion of the 3rd East Anglian Regiment (1959 to 1961) who served in the Malayan conflict.
· A Captain in the Royal Engineers, who during the Second World War was a Troop Leader, assisting the Irish Guards Armoured Section.
· A Sergeant in the Royal Marines during the Second World War who provided bombardment support to the Land Forces at major landings.
· A Royal Marine (1978 to 1982) who was in 41 Commando and did a tour of duty with the United Nations in Cyprus in 1979.
· A Lance Corporal in the 1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment in the early 1950s who served in the Korean War from 1951 to 1952.
· A Royal Marine during the Second World War whose ship was one of the first to land at Sword Beach during the Normandy Landings in June 1944.
· A Gunner with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War, who served in India, Changi, Taiwan and Japan and was held in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp.
· A member of the Royal Air Force (1944 to 1953) who flew with Bomber Command just after the end of the Second World War, then with Fighter Command from 1949 and who flew some of the earliest jets, including the Vampire and Meteor.
· A Field Gunner in the 94th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, who served at Normandy and Arnhem.
· A schoolchild on the British Home Front during the Second World War who will share her memories of rationing, air raid precautions and growing up during the 1940s.
· A member of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War who served in Bomb Disposal and on escort duties for submarines and shipping.
· A member of the Royal Anglian Regiment (1973 to 1979) who was stationed in Peterborough, driving Land Rovers and 4 tonners to transport personnel and equipment for use on deployment.
· A telegraphist in the Royal Navy during the Second World War who served on HMS Uganda, took part in the Battle of the Atlantic and was part of an escort that took Winston Churchill to the USA in 1943.
· A Second World War schoolchild who enjoyed playing on the bomb sites and later joined the Royal Air Force.
· A Second World War evacuee.
· A member of the British Resistance Organisation (Churchill’s Secret Army) (1940 to 1943) who then joined the Royal Air Force and was a Flight Sergeant until 1947.
Different veterans will be attending on Wednesday 1, Thursday 2, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June.
Attendance by veterans is subject to availability.
War Memorial by Richard Walker
In addition, local artist Richard Walker will be showing his latest work, War Memorial, in AirSpace.
This large-scale painting took two years to paint and a year and a half to research. It is made up of 35 separate canvases, brought together in five panels, which is based on a medievalist judgement painting.
The painting is a war memorial, dedicated to the people who served in the GreatWar. It centres on marking the memory of people and actions via their individual possessions and associated objects. The material objects left behind become a reference to that person, marking their absence.
The images in the paintings are of objects and ephemera from the different branches of the military services, including uniforms, medals, medical kits, signal flags and some weapons. In addition, there are private and personal objects included, which were found in many family archives, such as personal letters, postcards, photographs, memorial plaques, newspapers and commemorative items.
They are arranged in such a way that they imply a sense of cause and effect with personal objects from the Front balanced against objects that reference warfare.
Richard Walker lives and works in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, where he teaches art and art history at Kimbolton School. He studied Fine Art at the Central St Martin’s School of Art, London, graduating in 1989, after which he worked in the medium of sculpture, until about ten years ago, when he started exploring military objects and aircraft through the medium of complex ink drawings.
War Memorial will be on display in AirSpace throughout Spring Half Term. Richard Walker will be in attendance at ImperialWar Museum Duxford from Saturday 28 May to Friday 3 June, from 10.30am to 2.30pm, hosting timed talks to discuss War Memorial in more detail and to answer visitors’ questions. More detail on the timed talks will be available on arrival at the Museum.
To see examples of Richard Walker’s work go to http://picasaweb.google.com/113993138387162629653
Brought to Life presents the experiences of war through the first-person stories of those who fought so valiantly for their country throughout 20th century conflicts. It gives visitors the opportunity to hear directly from these unsung heroes.