We’re thrilled that the final elements of Where Poppies Blow, the moving new exhibition at Wordsworth House and Garden, are in place in time for Easter. It commemorates the end of the First World War in 1918 by telling the stories of a doomed generation who went to war to protect the fields, flowers and birds of Britain. Guest curated by historian, farmer and prize-winning author John Lewis-Stempel, Where Poppies Blow reveals the importance of the British countryside and sense of place as an incentive to join up, and the solace that nature and gardening gave these brave men as they suffered the horrors of life in the trenches. It includes the original manuscript of Edward Thomas’s iconic poem Adlestrop, paintings by war artist brothers Paul and John Nash and hard-hitting artwork by graphic novelist Dave McKean. As John says in his exhibition text, “These are images that hurt – and should do.” There’s also a mesmerising film by John Hamlett that meshes original Pathe battlefield footage with Lake District landscapes and poems by writers including Vera Brittain, Siegfried Sassoon, Nowell Oxland and Noel Hodgson – the latter pair both profoundly inspired by their love of the Lakes. The walls are decorated with a frieze by artist Gemma Burditt that captures both the horror of battle and the beauty of nature. And we’re delighted to say that, as well as a range of books about the Great War, our shop now has a stock of bags, tea towels, postcards and fridge magnets showing Gemma’s extraordinary work. We hope you’ll come and see the exhibition soon!
The Great Gift of Freedom – Project updates from the team
Throughout 2018 and right up to Peace Day on 19 July 2019, we will be commemorating the gift of mountains as war memorials after the First World War.
Keep visiting these pages to get updates and ‘behind the scenes’ information from the team delivering the project to raise awareness of our ‘mountains of freedom’.