Leeds University Library

The Individual Remains: Untold Stories of the First World War

Published 16 October 2014

WWI soldiers © The University of Leeds Special Collections

MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies Students from the University of Leeds unearth some of the more immediate and profound tales from soldiers serving in the First World War in this timely display.

Monday 27 October - Saturday 20 December 2014


The industrialised nature of the First World War is often defined by the scale of human casualty and loss. This quantification, although significant, only serves to present each soldier as one of many, void of personality and distinct experiences.


Using the Peter Liddle collection, held at The University of Leeds' Special Collections, this exhibition brings to light individual soldier's voices and wishes to re-approach the narrative of the First World War through reclaimed and re-purposed objects, personal diaries and pictures. We see the embodied authorship within the objects displayed, a direct response to the conditions of war and the legacies that remain. 


As Peter Liddle puts in his text The British Soldier on the Somme in 1916;

"...[A]n acceptance of military discipline and in section, platoon, company and battalion experience, will have necessarily worn away that manifestation of individual freedom of expression and action which the average Briton instinctively feels is part of his heritage. Nevertheless, in his soul, as might be recorded in letter or diary, the individual remains with his personal qualities, feelings, needs, revealed or concealed."


This exhibition has been organised by the MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies Students at the University of Leeds and will run until Saturday 20 December 2014.


An opening reception will take place on Tuesday 28 October at 6pm at the Gallery. 
Join us to get a first look at our new exhibition, talk to the students and explore the remains of the First World War through objects from the Liddle Collection with a short introduction by Peter Liddle himself. 

This is free to attend, no booking required. All welcome.