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Small Acts of Unforgetting – Armistice event at Bury Art Museum

by timpickstone on 6 November, 2018

No fewer than 588 men and boys from Bury and the surrounding district were killed during the first 17 months of the First World War.

(Information from Bury Art Museum)

This dreadful fact underlies an event at Bury Art Museum as part of its commemorations for the Centenary Armistice.


Paul Cliff from Manchester School of Art has been working over the past 12 months to create “Small Acts of Unforgetting”, a photographic exhibition which uses images from today to make a link to the events of yesterday, exploring ideas of self, identity and home.

Thanks to records published by the Bury Times, and further research at Bury Library and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission, it has now been possible to pinpoint the exact last known address for the majority of these 588 men and boys.

This project visits these locations, taking a photograph with a pinhole camera over a 20-minute exposure.

Paul will be at the museum on Friday 9 November and residents are invited to come along and talk to him about the project between 10.30am and 3pm. He will be giving two hour-long talks, at 11.30am and 1.30pm.

A terracotta bust to mark the battle of Passchendaele is on display at Bury Art Museum until the end of November.
The large sculpture by artist Stephen Dixon is made of clay from the Wienerberger quarry and brickworks, located on the battlefield site at Zonnebeke. The portrait is an ‘everyman’, an assemblage of features from soldiers of the many nations who fought and died at Passchendaele, and is based on photographs of individual soldiers sourced in the Passchendaele Memorial Museum archives.

The Battle of Passchendaele is remembered as one of the most cruel and futile of campaigns, even by the terrible standards of the First World War, fought in the cloying mud of western Flanders. An estimated 150,000 soldiers from both sides perished in the mud and rain of Passchendaele.

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