Skip to content

WWI commemorations planned in museums across Scotland

The investment of nearly £50k will support a wide range of projects in museums across Scotland, from theatre productions to new exhibitions.

Museums Galleries Scotland announces latest round of WWI Commemoration Fund awards

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has announced six new museum projects set to receive a share of nearly £50k from their WWI Commemoration Fund. The investment will support a wide range of projects in museums across Scotland, from theatre productions to new exhibitions.

Glasgow Life have secured the largest sum for an ambitious Glasgow Museums project. Their award of £16,700 will enable Glasgow Museums to host an exhibition of artworks by WWI soldiers. Activities around the exhibition will include in-depth work with Bellahouston Academy and Holyrood Secondary School in partnership with schools in Glasgow’s twin city, Nuremburg. This work will focus on relating the experience of those on both sides in WWI to modern day conflict and its impact. The Glasgow schools chosen have a diverse demographic including new arrival families fleeing conflict.

Islay Museums Trust will be taking a creative approach to marking the centenary of the loss of two American troop ships off the coast of Islay during 1918. An award of £10,000 will allow them to run community events, plant a memorial arboretum, and create a new trail around significant WWI sites on the island. Dumfries and Galloway Council have received funding for an exhibition of WWI photographs, and Glencoe Folk Museum will hold an exhibition based on collections research by pupils from Kinlochleven High School. Atholl Country Life Museum and National Trust for Scotland will both be staging theatre performances to engage local communities in commemoration.

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“We are pleased to be funding projects that demonstrate such diverse approaches to commemoration. Communities across Scotland were affected by WWI, and this fund is designed to support museums to explore this impact and its continuing resonance on modern life.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said:

“The First World War had a significant impact on Scotland, affecting every community and every family. Our national programme of commemorations encourages the people of modern day Scotland to reflect on its lasting social and civic legacy.

“Through our investment in the World War One fund, we’re supporting Museums Galleries Scotland to fund innovative projects that will encourage communities across Scotland – in particular young people – to learn more about the First World War, understand the role and sacrifices made by those who fought and those who remained at home, and consider how the brutal conflict shaped the Scotland we know today.”

MGS is the National Development Body for museums and galleries in Scotland and offers strategic development support to the sector. The WWI Commemoration Fund encourages museums to undertake creative approaches with their local communities to exploring the impact of the Great War. The fund has now invested in a total of 31 projects across Scotland since its introduction in 2014.

List of MGS WWI funded projects

Atholl Country Life Museum / £1,400/ Jock’s Jocks – A one act play

MGS will support Atholl Country Life Museum to put on a performance of Jock’s Jocks, a play based on transcripts of interviews with WWI veterans. The play will increase awareness in the community of local involvement in WWI, and the museum will also take the opportunity to give a presentation about its work and collections.

Dumfries and Galloway Council / £10,000 / Records of War

MGS has awarded funding to Dumfries and Galloway Council for an exhibition of WWI photographs and letters to be displayed in Annan and Dumfries. The exhibition will encourage communities to explore how the First World War is remembered, with photographs from the museum archives on display alongside items drawn from the local community. They are planning a programme of engagement activities for school groups and others around the exhibition, including developing two films with young people and veterans.

Islay Museum Trust/ £10,000 / WW100 Islay

2018 is the centenary of the tragic loss of two ships carrying American soldiers off the shores of Islay. An award to the Islay Museum Trust will allow them to commemorate these tragedies and Islay's contribution to the war effort through community events, a memorial arboretum, and the creation of a new trail around significant sites on the island. Islay has been chosen to host one of Scotland’s major First World War commemorations in May 2018, so this project will tie in with wider WW100 Scotland activities.

Glasgow Life / £16,700 / Brushes with War – World War One Soldiers’ Art

During this MSG funded project, Glasgow Museums will host an exhibition of artworks by WWI soldiers. They will be showcasing pieces from their own collections and will also bring in loans of work by soldiers from across Europe. A range of activities will be arranged around the exhibition, including in depth work with two high schools from Glasgow in partnership with schools and the museum education department in Nuremberg (Glasgow’s twin city). This work will focus on relating the experience of those on both sides in WWI to modern day conflict and its impact. The Glasgow schools chosen have a diverse demographic including many new arrival families fleeing conflict.

Glencoe and North Lorn Museum Trust / £966 / Glencoe Folk Musuem WW1 Research

MGS has funded Glencoe and North Lorn Museum Trust to work with a small group of pupils from Kinlochleven High School to carry out research into the museum’s First World War Collection. The findings from the research will be used in an exhibition at Glencoe Folk Museum, while the pupils involved will gain valuable new skills.

National Trust for Scotland / £8,962 / Pollock House and the Great War

National Trust for Scotland will work with local youth theatre in Glasgow to produce two plays inspired by the legacy and impact of WWI in the setting of Pollok House, which will be performed on Doors Open Day. This MGS funded project will help the young people involved to have a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of Pollok House as a local heritage building, as well as developing a range of new skills relating to theatre production.

Published 08 May 2017