From left to right: Distinguished Service Medal 1914-1936, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-18, Victory Medal 1914-18, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Royal Navy 1910-1930, © National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum: 'Forgotten Fighters: The First World War at Sea'

Posted on on 11 July 2014
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The National Maritime Museum in London is marking the Centenary of the First World War with a new exhibition which highlights the war at sea.

It will open on the 2nd August 2014 and run until November 2018.

The museum is seeking to redress the focus on the Western Front which dominates popular memories and understandings of the conflict. The most famous sea battle - at Jutland in 1916 - saw the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet clash with the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet off the coast of Denmark.

However, naval engagements during the First World War took place around the globe, from the Falklands to the Mediterranean and the Pacific.

The National Maritime Museum is aiming to put personal stories at the heart of the exhibition through the use of objects including weaponry, photographs, medals and ship models.

These items will help to chart the history of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy during the First World War, from protecting and supplying British shipping lanes, to combating battleships and submarines.

The role of reservists, the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRENs), pilots and submariners will also be explored, despite the fact that the actions of many of those who were involved in the navy's war effort remained "unseen or unreported".

Turning to the British Isles, the exhibition will also consider the impact of total war on the millions of workers who were involved in the construction and maintenance of ships. Those who worked at the shipyards, down coal mines, in steel mills and armament factories, as well as the many WRENs who served as cooks, electricians, clerks and wireless telegraphists, will all be analysed at the exhibition.

The museum aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Britain's war at sea and a dedicated events programme will coincide with the Forgotten Fighters exhibition.

Source: National Maritime Museum

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News