From poppy ‘waves’ to lone pipers - commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1
On Sunday 11 November 2018, it will be 100 years since World War I finally came to an end. With a death toll of more than sixteen million combatants and civilians, it was one of history’s most devastating conflicts - and contributed to many more mortalities through genocide and influenza.
Much like World War 2 just 21 years later, allied victory came at an inconceivable cost.
From sculpture to theatre to exhibitions and annual remembrance services, Manchester will be commemorating the armistice centenary with events citywide. Here are five to consider…
POPPIES: WAVE | Imperial War Museum North | Until Sunday 25 November
A cascade of ceramic poppies that tumbles from the roof of IWM North, Wave was part of the 2014 installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London. With each poppy ‘planted’ by a volunteer in memory of every British or Colonial life lost at the front, it’s a stunning visualisation that’s captured millions nationwide. Also at IWM North, don’t miss Making A New World: a season of exhibitions and immersive experiences that show how today’s society has been shaped by WW1.
THE GLASS HOUSE | 53Two | 1-11 November
Acclaimed emerging company Grindstone have teamed up with MAP Productions and 53two for this adaption of Max Saunders-Singer’s award-winning drama; based on true stories of life on the front lines. As two men stand charged with cowardice and desertion - confined in a cramped, makeshift prison on the back line of the Somme - a friendship crystallises between them. But how long can it last? And how much can a man withstand before he breaks?
Other commemorative theatre includes Action Man (part of 53Two’s part of NEWVember season), Feel Good’s reflective reading in Heaton Park - which itself housed a convalescent camp - and Manchester University’s site-responsive show in December
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY | St Peter’s Square | Sunday 11 November
There’ll be events across Greater Manchester on Remembrance Sunday: take a look at your local council website for details of your nearest event. In central Manchester, commemorations begin at 6am, when a lone piper at Manchester Cathedral will play Battle's O'er: one of 1000 pipers across worldwide to begin the day this way. Following a short parade, there will be an 11pm service at the Cenotaph, while 6.55pm will see a lone bugler (again one of 1000 worldwide) sound the Last Post before a symbolic beacon is lit at 7pm.
VICTORY OVER BLINDNESS | Manchester Piccadilly | Permanent
Commissioned by Blind Veterans UK - a charity that supports ex-servicemen and women blinded in battle - this touching statue commemorates all those the charity has helped since WW1. Depicting seven blinded soldiers leading one another away from the battlefield, it was created by artist and sculptor Johanna Domke-Guyot and twinned with the stories of seven blinded veterans living now. The only permanent memorial of its kind, the statue was also inspired by the lack of records depicting disabled service persons.
THE BRAVEST LITTLE STREET IN ENGLAND | A4 Studios | 13-23 November
Altrincham’s Chapel Street was named ‘the bravest little street in England’ after the town was awarded a Roll of Honour by King George V in 1919. Out of the 161 men who enlisted from the street, 29 failed to return home after WW1, and a further twenty died of their wounds. Local artist Carole Evans revives their largely forgotten tale in this evocative exhibition; featuring archival photographs, artefacts and information on the street (razed in the fifties).