Centenary of end of WW1 marked by new exhibitions at Hastings museum

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is marking the centenary of the end of the First World War with two new exhibitions

How the First World War Shaped the World We Know Today runs from October 13th until January 27th next year.

The World had seen nothing like it before with fighting going on in Europe, Africa and Asia, and over 40 per cent of the world’s population feeling the impact of hostilities. More than nine million of those who fought were killed and more than seven million civilians died either as a result of the fighting or from disease and starvation. The sheer scale of the loss of human life changed society’s attitude to war for ever as very few were unaffected by the conflict.

Miss Winser and some of the others involved in the Alexandra Park commission pictured with the sculpture
Alexandra Park memorial in Hastings.

Since 2014, Hastings Remembers has been looking at the impact the war had on Hastings and its communities. Some fascinating stories and objects have been uncovered which can be explored in the museum using the exhibition touchscreen.

Deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council (HBC) Kim Forward said this week: “The ground floor exhibition examines remembrance and memorial through objects from the museum’s collection. It shows how the sacrifices of the conflict have been marked, both for individuals and for society as a whole.

A brand new interactive touchscreen will give visitors the opportunity to explore more local stories and browse the museum’s First World War collections.”

The second exhibition examines The Price of War. When hostilities began ty people believed the war would be ‘over by Christmas’ but in the autumn of 1914 it was becoming clear that the fighting would not be over by Christmas and that Britain was going to be in for the long haul.

debbie siniska 1
A peace mat.

As a result the government had to find ways of meeting the huge expense of war. It had three main options; taxes, borrowing or printing money. All would have a direct impact on the general public. This exhibition shows a selection of public information posters and leaflets designed to encourage people to support the economic war effort, both through direct financial investment as well as rationing and thrifty household management.

Exhibition events:

Tuesday October 23rd from 10am –  3pm there is a free family activity day. There will be a mix of First World War-themed activities, including arts and crafts, object handling and a special visit from Hands On History.

Saturday November 10th from 2pm – 3.30pm there is an open afternoon for Hastings Remembers with local stories of the First World War. There will be the popular music of the day playing, as well as some simple craft activities for families.

Saturday January 26th from 10.30am – 3.15pm  there is an adult art workshop, at a cost of £50. Those attending will be able to learn the old fashioned techniques of hooky and proddy using traditional hand tools and will be able to turn recycled clothes into something full of memories. Only ten places are available so booking is essential so email museum@hastings.gov.uk for further information.


  • Hastings Museum & Art Gallery is a family-friendly museum with amazingly diverse collections. There really is something for everyone here!
  • The Museum was established over 120 years ago and has always offered local people and visitors to the town the opportunity to explore art, culture and history from around the world.
  • The Museum’s collections continue to grow and it now has around 97,000 objects of local history, natural sciences, fine & decorative arts, and world cultures.
  • Admission to the exhibition at the museum and art gallery is free.


  • Images attached-Peace celebrations programme cover,  memory mats,

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