Science Museum awarded Heritage Lottery Fund grant for The Wounded exhibition

A British No1 field surgical pannier
A British No1 field surgical pannier Science Museum

Under the working title The Wounded, this exhibition will illustrate some of the medical responses, developments and remarkable innovations of the war through the personal stories of those who were wounded and those who cared for them.

Central to the exhibition will be many important objects from the Science Museum’s First World War medical collections. Some of these items still carry scars following use on the frontline, including a German stretcher ‘captured’ by a British regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, while others reflect the medical challenges of trench warfare, such as a giant magnet used to remove shrapnel from wounds. 

Beyond the battlefields, the exhibition will also focus on the impact of the war on the many millions of soldiers and civilians who were left physically and mentally affected by the events of 1914-1918. The Wounded will also illustrate how the medical lessons learnt during the First World War still have relevance today and display material related to contemporary military conflicts.

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, said: “Thanks to this award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the contributions of other funders, work has already begun on important conservation work to prepare many of the remarkable objects from our First World War medical collections. I look forward to this exhibition opening in 2016.”

Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “Featuring items straight from the battlefield, The Wounded exhibition will offer an insight into the true human cost of the war as well as exploring the lasting impact of the conflict on the world of medicine. We’re pleased to support this project which will see a number of ex-servicemen gain skills in working in a heritage environment and this at risk collection conserved and displayed – many items for the first time.”

The Wounded exhibition has received further support from The Eranda Foundation and The Gosling Foundation. This exhibition will be free to visit and is set to open in the summer of 2016.

Notes to editors

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. More information can be found at the Science Museum website.

About The Eranda Foundation

Founded in 1967 by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, The Eranda Foundation is a UK grant-making trust which prioritises support under the headings of medical research, education, the arts and social welfare. The Foundation distributes £4m to £5m per annum, the majority to charities in the UK, but significant support is also given to charities in the US and other countries, including for example, Africa, Haiti, India and Israel.  When making donations outside the UK, the Trustees support organisations whose work is well known to them.

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