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Next of Kin exhibition shares mementos and memories of the First World War at Grampian Transport Museum

Posted  1 April 2016 in News  
By Kate Clements
A 'Forget me not' postcard that features in the Next of Kin exhibition. © National Museums Scotland

Next of Kin, an exhibition created by National Museums Scotland, opens on 2 April at the Grampian Transport Museum. It presents a picture of Scotland during the First World War through treasured objects from official and private sources, passed to close relatives and down through generations.

The exhibition was previously shown at the National War Museum in Edinburgh Castle, and Grampian Transport Museum will be the fifth of nine touring venues around Scotland. It is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government. Each of the host venues will be adding material from their own collections to tell local stories which reflect the themes of the exhibition.

Next of Kin tells the stories of those directly involved in the First World War, including Colonel Frank Fleming. Colonel Fleming was taken prisoner, and his experiences will now be brought to life with a number of personal effects, including his officer’s pass to leave the prisoner of war camp for recreational purposes. Colonel Fleming’s cell wall calendar will also be displayed – prisoners were denied all information including what the date was, so he kept his own record.

Canadian Lieutenant James Humphrey’s story will also be told for the first time. Lieutenant Humphrey was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and was wounded in action. While recovering in hospital he met his future wife when he was invited by her parents to their home for Christmas. The Next of Kin exhibition will include items belonging to Humphrey, including his wounded man’s kit label. Invalided out and very nearly losing his right arm, he was sent back to a London hospital – just one of tens of thousands of injured soldiers.

The material on loan from National Museums Scotland looks in detail at eight individual stories which both typify and illustrate the wider themes and impact of the War on servicemen and women and their families back home in Scotland. Objects include postcards and letters, photographs, medals and memorial plaques.

Find out more about the host venue, the Grampian Transport Museum.

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