Sunday, November 30, 2014

George Kellett's World War One Diary: November 1918

Throughout 2014 have been tweeting entries from a World War 1 soldier’s 1918 diary. You can follow George Kellett’s diary entries on Twitter @WW1_Diary.

We will also post the full month’s diary entries on this blog.

For George Kellett's October diary entries please see our previous blog: October 1918

3 November 1918
On roads 11:20 to 4:30pm were shelled badly in sunken(?) road. Heavy rain until dinnertime

4 November 1918
Moved to Villers Poll Through Escarmain and Capelle

5 November 1918
Our Dear Ada Died at 12-10am.

9 November 1918
Our Dear Ada Burried at Sandal church at 2pm

11 November 1918
Moved to Bermeries We heard that an armistice had been signed but we keep hearing explosions and cannot tell whether it is gun fire or not.

16 November 1918
Warned for guard at 4pm this afternoon

17 November 1918
On guard today

18 November 1918
Moved at 9am for Maubeuge passing through Bavay, ???  and La Longueville billeted in barracks in the fort.

19 November 1918
Fire picquet and transport fatigue

20 November 1918
Moved to Peissant through  [??] and Binche[?]

22 November 1918
Left Peissant at 8am arrived at Anderlues About 3pm

23 November 1918
Received parcel from home with this book enclosed.  Working on the roads today about six kilos from our billets.  Wrote to Harry and father.

24 November 1918
Out on the roads again today from 8am to 1:30pm. Parade at 5:30pm. Had ??

25 November 1918
Left Anderlues At 9:45am for Charleroi. Arrived about 3pm.  Billeted in private houses.  Had a good feed of chips for supper slept in a good bed between clean white sheets.

26 November 1918
Parade at 9am.  Went to school at 10am.  Went into town after dinner and to the cinema after tea.  Had a bath at one of the collieries  It is a fine town is Charleroi

27 November 1918
Parade at 9am till 12noon

28 November 1918
Left Charleroi at 8am for Fosse

29 November 1918
Left Fosse at 9am for Malonne near Namur
Formed up on the Square at 2:30 to hear the Burgomaster read out a message of welcome

30 November 1918
Reported sick had excused duty laid in bed all day.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Get out of the house and do something creative!

A post from Louise, our Crafty Crocs leader:

As a toddler and young child of the late 1970s and early 1980s I remember there being much more hands-on activities and play then there seems to be today.

Louise -  a *few* years ago...
There are still many playgroups in church halls and community venues today but how many people think of taking their youngsters to the museum for a couple of hours?

Now, as back then, many parents and grandparents are looking for fun activities for their children to participate in at a minimal cost.  Something they can not provide at home. TV has programmes for children all hours of the day, channels for different ages and whilst I am guilty myself of cracking on with the housework and telling the kids “put the tv on whilst I get this done” I can not recall my own parents telling me to do this. In fact quite the opposite – Why don’t you get the pencils out and draw? Go in the garden and make the most of the weather.  Lets make a picnic and have it indoors (it was raining outside!)

Louise - showing her artistic ability at a young age
Here at Wakefield Museum we deliver a session of messy crafts, Crafty Crocs, which meet on the first Tuesday of every month.  The aim of this free session is for children and their grown-ups to come and be creative away from home (and the tv). Using the Learning Zone we set up different activities each month so that children can explore the museum collections and develop skills such as sensory enquiry and even just mastering the art of using scissors!

Crafty Crocs sessions are developed with ideas from the museum display as inspiration. For example the Waterton displays in the museum provide links to animals and nature, we draw animals using our hands and feet.  The museum Front Room enables us to look at activities related to home life in the past – we used plastic cutlery to paint.


So why not come and join us at our next Crafty Crocs?

Sessions run at 10 - 11am and 1:15 – 2:15pm on the first Tuesday of the month during term time.

Our next sessions are  on Tuesday 2nd December. 

To book your place call 01924 302700 or e-mail 

Remember to wear messy clothes and feel free to bring your child a drink and small snack - in case they need more energy!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Collection Highlight - My Darling's Dollcraft

This doll belonged to a Castleford girl called Edith Wyatt, who sadly died aged twelve in 1944.

In the middle of the 1900s, most dolls played with in Britain were made in Germany – a supply that stopped when the Second World War started (1939 – 1945). This one was made in Britain. What is particularly nice about it is that the clothes, hair and face had to be stitched on by its owner. This shows the wartime attitude of learning new skills and doing it for yourself.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wakefield Museum: The 'Place'ment to be!

Our names are Charlotte and Naadiya, we are students from Leeds Trinity University and have been undertaking a two-week placement at Wakefield Museum to support our course.


We are Studying Primary Education and are here to experience education in an alternative setting. During the course of these two weeks, we have been able to see the ways in which museums contribute to education, and the fascinating methods that they use when carrying out their workshops. We have been lucky enough to observe and support a variety of workshops, including outdoor tours at Sandal Castle, World War One and Ancient Egyptian Artefacts workshops. Not only was the content of these workshops extremely interesting, but we had the opportunity to handle some of the original artefacts, such as an Ancient Egyptian Shabti dating back to nearly 3000 years!
Ancient Egyptian Shabti
Carrying out our placement at Wakefield Museum allowed us to see how they make their workshops cross-curricular, not simply focussing on the history aspect that many museums specialise in. For example, delivering a workshop on World War One where the children created a diary entry, rather than just focussing on the history.

Pupils from Wakefield Methodist (VC) J. I. and N. School examining WW1 artefacts

During our time here, we had the opportunity to prepare our own workshop on World War One posters. This enabled us to experience the process that the education staff at the museum go through in order to create their workshops.  We found it was a long and lengthy process but very interesting, especially carrying out the research to support the workshops. By assisting in this research, we were able to look at ancestry websites and create links to the local area – this definitely made us feel like detectives!

WW1 Recruitment Poster

We ran two sessions of our workshop and although the content was the same, the sessions were slightly different. This highlighted how flexible you have to be with workshops as no two classes are the same, and each session has to be tailored around that group of children to meet their individual needs. The feedback we received was positive on the whole and we were told that the museum is going to develop and use our workshop in the future which we are both very proud of.

If you ask us what our favourite part of this placement was, it would have to be the WW1 workshop when we saw a reading of the diary of George Kellett, an army solider from Wakefield during WW1.  The actor playing George adopted his role well to engage not just the students, but the adults too.  This session was not only interesting and informative, but also entertaining.
Pupils from Wakefield Methodist (VC) J. I. and N. School meet 'George Kellett'
It’s safe to say we have lost count of the amount of times we have said ‘Wow!’ in these past couple of weeks! We are grateful for this opportunity and to all the staff who have helped us and would happily bring our future pupils to this museum. We would definitely recommend a placement here!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bonfire toffee, or toffee apples?

Reflections on Bonfire Night have caused a bit of a dispute between museums and libraries this year.

No arguments over sparklers:

Child with sparkler  - 1950-1970 from Maud's Photographic Studio, Pontefract

Or indeed over the size of  the bonfire:

Bonfire Stack at Sandal Castle for the Coronation of George V  - 1911

The discussion (as usual!) was entirely about food.  

What is your traditional bonfire night treat?

A cup of hot soup, pie and peas, parkin...

A toffee apple perhaps? 
Children eating toffee apple and banana,  1930s

Or the real contention - the merits (and failings!) of Bonfire Toffee...

Silver toffee hammer used in a window display in a sweet shop on the corner of Northgate and Rishworth Street, 1930-1950

 What is your preferred treat?  We'd love to know!