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)