“I’ve been through enough hardships… to last me the rest of my life.”
This 1918 diary entry, penned by Sergeant Harold B. Scribner of Darien while serving overseas in the Great War, is part of an upcoming exhibition at the Darien Historical Society that will tell the story of this town’s experience during World War I.
Over Here: Darien’s WWI, will open Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. with a Champagne Preview Reception.
Drawn from the Society’s collection and loaned material, the exhibit will feature propaganda posters, uniforms, letters, illustrations and artifacts brought home from the front.
Dave Polett and Lynn Sheppard, two longtime society volunteers, have been working at the Society and in the community for months to gather artifacts, research public documents and curate materials for display.
“This exhibition really drives home the whole experience — and especially the sacrifice — of our soldiers who served in the Great War,” said Polett, a former Society board member and chairman of the Monuments & Ceremonies Commission.
A Memorial Wall will pay homage to eight local soldiers who lost their lives in the war, while postcards, uniforms and medals will tell the stories of the local soldiers who served, Polett said.
One of the highlights of the exhibition will include many of the World War I propaganda posters from the Society’s collection.
“The World War I posters are not only visually stunning, they also provide insight into how propaganda was used to encourage Americans to support the war effort,” said Sheppard, a member of the Society’s Executive Board of Directors.
The exhibition will run until Sunday, July 21 and will be open during the Society’s regular opening hours. The exhibit is free for members and veterans and $5 for non-members. Group curator tours are available upon request. Please call 203-655-9233 for information.
Upcoming programs for include:
Over Here: Darien’s WWI — Champagne Preview Reception
Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $30 members, $40 non-members
America Calls: Mobilizing Artists During the Great War
Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.
A talk on WWI propaganda with esteemed art historian Robin Jaffee Frank, director of Strategy & Development, Silvermine Art Center. A former Yale curator, Robin was guest curator of the New-York Historical Society’s 2017 exhibition on the Great War.
Ambulance 255: Spirit of the American Volunteer & 1916 Ambulance
Saturday, May 18 at 2 p.m. (Rain Date: May 19)
A dramatic reading from the journals and letters of the American ambulance drivers with George King, III, director of the Ambulance 255 Project and Jeffrey Klinger, PhD. **A restored 1916 ambulance driven on the battlefields of WWI will be on display outside of the Society starting at 11 a.m.
Cost for programs: $10 for members, $20 for non-members. Space is limited. Registration required. Register at www.darienhistorical.org, or call 203.655.9233.