Monthly Archives: October, 2013

Kent connections to the Imperial War Museum uncovered

Rob Illingworth, Service Development Librarian – Local History, from KCC Libraries, Registration and Archives, has uncovered two figures with Kent & Medway connections, who were instrumental in the early story of the Imperial War Museum:

Martin Conway & his daughter Agnes Conway Horsfield.

Sir Martin Conway, the Museum’s first Director General, said that exhibits must “be vitalised by contributions expressive of the action, the experiences, the valour and the endurance of individuals”.

From 1917-1929, Agnes Conway worked on gathering materials representing women’s work in the First World War as a member of the Women at Work Committee of the newly established Imperial War Museum.

Martin Conway was born in Rochester.  Martin and his wife Katrina Conway bought and restored Allington Castle.  For further information, please take a look at the following links:

Agnes Conway was also involved in helping Belgian refugees who arrived at Ramsgate. The IWM Women, War and Society website has a pamphlet which she wrote with I R Y Marble  – “13 months’ work with Belgians” – which started in Oct 10th 1914, when she went to Ramsgate ‘under the auspices of the Wounded Allies Relief Committee, to help with the families of the first fifty Belgian wounded soldiers who were received in Britain.’

(Thanks to Kent library volunteer, Julia Booth, for identifying this information)

BBC launches ambitious season of programmes

On Wednesday 16th October, the BBC launched the most ambitious season of programmes they’ve ever commissioned, to mark the centenary of World War One.

The war touched the lives of millions across the country, across Europe and the world over.  Over the next four years, the BBC will be telling the extraordinary stories and legacy of World War One in whole new ways on television, on radio, and on digital:

Here is a short BBC film of some of the broadcast highlights to give you an idea of what is coming up:

The BBC would like to hear about any World War One Centenary projects in Kent that you are involved with or know of as they may be able to tie these into their ‘World War One at Home’ project happening in each region.  Steven George ( is co-ordinating regional BBC South East WW1 content for the ‘World War One at Home’ project.

Steering Group meeting – minutes

The Steering Group met on 10th October 2013 at the Royal Engineers Museum to discuss progress of the various working groups.

Read the full minutes here: FWW Steering Group – Minutes 10_10_2013

Marketing Working Group – minutes

The Marketing Working Group met on 17th September 2013 to discuss next steps.  The highlights from the meeting are:

It was agreed that “Frontline Kent” will be an umbrella brand for not only WWI but can encompass all commemorations around conflict during this period ie WWII 75th Anniversary.

The four year campaign will:


  • To maximise the opportunity and to raise the profile of Kent and its role as a frontline county
  • To bring attractions and destinations together to plan coordinated activities around Frontline Kent and the key anniversaries.
  • To promote these to visitors under a consistent “brand” from a central portal


  • To attract inbound visitors and visitor spend
  • To encourage repeat visitors


  • Single brand – Frontline Kent
  • Single portal / CTA

Target audience


  • Kent residents (editorial message needs to be different for residents)
  • London and 2 hour drive team
  • Near European


  • Volunteers (to assist with events)

Read the full minutes here: Frontline Kent Marketing Group – Minutes 17_09_13

Lecture on war artist, Sir John Lavery, at the Historic Dockyard

IWM_ART_001257Sir John Lavery (1856 – 1941) – The Intrepid War Artist

22 October, 7.30pm

A lecture by Angela Weight, former Keeper of Art at the Imperial War Museum, and guest curator of From Shore to Sea: Paintings by Sir John Lavery, currently on display at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Sir John Lavery is best known today as a painter of society portraits and exotic landscapes. He was also one of the most prolific and hard-working official war artists of the First World War, yet this aspect of his career is relatively little known or appreciated. This talk will examine how Lavery’s choice of war subjects was influenced by his natural interest in modern life and current events.

When the First World War began, he quickly seized upon the new signs that the country was at war in paintings such as `The First Wounded at a London Hospital’. As an official war artist from July 1917, he took a roving brief to depict naval bases, shipyards, airfields and munitions factories in Scotland, the North East of England and the South Coast. His travels were often prompted by topical events, such as the arrival of a new airship at East Fortune, or the construction of a secret port in Kent. As one contemporary writer put it, Lavery drew out `the ground plan of the War, its base and structure – the Naval power, the intensity of mechanical production’, and, not least, the significant role that women played in this.

Date: 22 October
Time:  Lecture begins at 7:30pm (Gallery open from 6.30pm)
Cost: £10.00 (Entry to ‘From Shore to Sea’ exhibition included)

Please visit or call 01634 823852 to book.