WW1 exhibition presented with painted metal plates from the Front line.
WW1 exhibition presented with painted metal plates from the Front line.

WW1 exhibition presented with painted metal plates from the Front line.

The evocative and moving WW1 exhibition at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle has been presented with some beautifully hand decorated metal plates that were with serving soldiers on the Front Line.


The plates commemorate two soldiers from the town, brothers George and Stanley Croft, who took part in the conflict.


They were loaned to the ‘To Serve King and Country’ exhibition by Stanley’s grandson David Travis.


“These decorative plates were made from photographs pasted onto the metal and then surrounded with a painted background to cover the whole front.  They used to hang on the walls of my Grandad’s shed on Victoria Road in town.


“Great Uncle George died on the battlefield but my Grandad came home, these are the actual plates that soldiers ate from on the front but we don’t know who painted them.


“I think the whole exhibition is an excellent tribute to the people of Teesdale who took part in the war and I’ve found out things about my family I didn’t know by visiting it.


“For instance, I have also loaned the Museum a Hood uniform badge that belonged to my Great Uncle Walter who was in the Navy, but it wasn’t until I visited the Museum I discovered he’d been sent to the Front line as there weren’t enough ships for all the sailors, so their battalions were named after the Naval ships.”


The exhibition depicts life both at the Front and at home, including the impact and aftermath of the war on individuals and communities and their response to the worldwide conflict that turned their lives upside down.


Soldiers equipment, trench art, medals, and books of cartoons are on display alongside personal artefacts, postcards, service records and a diary containing letters from soldiers and photographs.


The project is funded by National Lottery players through a £65,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with additional support from Barnard Castle Town Council, Durham County Council and Teesdale Area Action Partnership.


The exhibition is on display until 3 March 2019.

The Bowes Museum is closed!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Caf� Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

Do please remember, however, that the Museum�s park and grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 � 4.00 daily, and that we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, clues can be found here.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.