AN EXHIBITION of First World War memorabilia which has been four years in the making has at last arrived at The Hive history centre in Worcester.

The People’s Collection covers virtually every aspect of Worcestershire’s involvement in the conflict and has been on a tour of the county since May. It will be at The Hive until Monday, November 12, the day after Armistice Day.

Organised by The Worcestershire World War One Hundred programme, the display features letters, photographs and objects loaned by people across the county. The WWW100 programme received the largest Heritage Lottery Fund grant for a World War One commemoration outside London with the aim of telling the stories of Worcestershire people, their involvement with and personal legacy from the war.

For the last four years people have been invited to share their family stories about the contribution the county and its people made to WW1 and it is these will be on show in the People’s Collection.

Gillian Roberts, Worcestershire World War One Hundred project officer, said: “The people of Worcestershire have been hugely generous in sharing their family stories with us and we have created a fantastic record of the impact World War One had on our county from what was happening at the Front to developments back home in medicine, all with personal insight.

“There has been an incredible response to the exhibition in each of the different parts of the county and we are delighted to bring all these stories together at The Hive to coincide with the Armistice. We hope that people across Worcestershire and beyond make time to visit The People’s Collection and experience Worcestershire at war for themselves.”

From Bromsgrove the exhibition features stories on what it was like for VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Nurses through the letters of Rachel Lyttelton. The letters she wrote through the war years give a unique glimpse of life during the four year conflict. The Redditch entries include information about the Royal Enfield motorcycles used at the front and the military tribunals which reveal the lives of conscripted men.

The trench shovel featured in the exhibition was from Malvern and belongs to the Purser Family of Welland. In Bewdley, with help from the Bewdley Historical Society, the exhibition gathered information about people from the Wyre Forest and uncovered the mystery of a WWI army issue spoon found in a back garden in Kidderminster, and includes the story of the three members of the Tarrant family who served in the army, navy and munitions.

From Pershore the collection includes the Sladden family of Badsey and the Belgian refugees who found sanctuary in the area. The exhibition also features Voluntary Aid Detachments hospitals, including the one at Evesham Abbey, and the role of German Prisoners of War on the surrounding farms.

The People’s Collection will be open at The Hive from 8.30am until 10pm every day.