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Timely reminders of conflicts past

An exhibition highlighting both the sad and the lighter side of Britain’s wars, and the affect they had on the local servicemen who traveled afar in the name of duty, will be showing at Hawick Museum until March 2018.

Souvenirs of War showcases objects, photographs, documents and uniforms brought back to Hawick by local servicemen from the Boer War, First World War, Second World War and more recent conflicts such as the Gulf and Afghanistan.

Richard White, Hawick Museum Assistant Curator, explained: “War souvenirs are often official items kept by individuals after return to civilian life – documents, medals, photographs, uniforms.

“The can also be more frivolous - tourist postcards, cheerful letters, keepsakes.  Nevertheless, they are all mementoes of experiences, good and bad, that are often not talked about.

“All these items are reminders of testing times, of duty done.  They can call to mind those who did not return – or those who did return but are now gone.”

The exhibition, which will be on display in the ground floor Entrance Hall at the Wilton Lodge Park venue, is part of a series about WW1 during the four years of the centenary and will provide a taster of the refurbished War Memorial Room opening in the Museum next year (the centenary year of the end of WW1).

The aim of the project is to give insight into the stories of Hawick individuals in Britain’s wars and many items featured have never before been shown – recent donations for example (from both recent conflicts and older wars), or items in themselves of small significance but now of more interest, such as the hand-made Xmas card sent to Garfield Street, Hawick in 1900 from the Boer War front.

“Many of the items on show here were kept safe at home for years, though maybe forgotten about after time had passed,” added Mr White.

“These war souvenirs were eventually donated to Hawick Museum and by showing them together, we can begin to reveal the fascinating and moving story of Hawick’s men and women in Britain’s wars.”

Also on show will be the Saving and Sharing project, commemorating WW1 across the Borders.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12-3pm, Sun 1-3pm.

WW2 AWatt allied soldiers' guide to Rome.jpg