Events galore in Derby to honour WWI centenary

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The Derby Remembers season of cultural events and activities has been specially created to honour of the First World War Centenary.

Running from Friday, June 9, to Sunday, July 23, and timed to coincide with Poppies: Weeping Window at The Silk Mill, Derby Remembers commemorates the First World War, allowing people of all ages to explore their own and the area’s connection to the conflict.

Drawing on archive letters, literature and artefacts, the programme will open up hidden histories and personal accounts of how the war impacted on the lives of men, women and children.

The Derby Remembers programme explores contemporary responses to the themes of conflict and remembrance. Visitors can learn about the First World War through a variety of talks by experts and war novelists, exhibitions of artefacts, poetry, film, performance and stimulating interactive activities, such as a new digital app trail.

The Remembered in Derby exhibition at the Silk Mill draws on personal stories of commemoration from the collections of Derby Museums, the 9th/12th Lancers Regimental Museum and the Midland Railway Study Centre to explore how we remember those who were lost in conflict over the last 100 years. Alongside this, The Artist’s Studio at The Silk Mill is a free event inviting families to use the available materials to sketch, draw and colour their way through the collections and capture their experience of the exhibition. The exhibition is open from June 9 to July 23 10am-5pm, and 10am-8pm on Thursdays.

The free to download, interactive Derby Remembers Digital Trail app for smartphone and tablet devices, tells stories involving Derby city and its residents during the First World War. The Trail will run from Friday 9 June to Sunday 23 July. The App will be available from 8 June via the App Store or Google Play. To find out more information, please visit:

Artist Paul Cummins will be talking to Professor John Coyne at the University of Derby, Markeaton Street on Friday, June 9 at 4pm. Paul Cummins’s artistic work includes the creation of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014 with designer Tom Piper. This is a free event but places are limited and need to be booked through

In Sebastian Faulks in Conversation with BBC Radio 4’s James Naughtie at Derby Cathedral on Friday, June 9, at 7.30pm the internationally renowned author discusses his latest book Where My Heart Used to Beat, which returns to what have become recurring themes in his novels: war and love. Tickets are £15 with concessions available.

Also on Friday, June 9, an evening Fire Trail will light a pathway from the Cathedral to the Silk Mill beginning at 8.30pm, creating a unique and reflective way for the public to interact with the Poppies: Weeping Window installation. The Fire Trail is free to attend.

Where the Poppies Now Grow: Tots Make & Do on Friday, June 9, 10am at Derby Museum & Art Gallery uses Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey’s beautiful picture book about friendship and war as the starting point for activities. The event is free and suitable for ages 4-11 years.

There will also be an opportunity to Meet the Authors at 10:30 am at the Quad on Saturday, June 10 and hear them talk about their book, inspired by their two great uncles who fell at the Somme. Tickets are priced £6/£4.

On Saturdays from June 10 to July 22, 10am–12noon and 1pm–3pm, families can take a free seat at The Silk Mill’s Making History table to twist, fold and transform the newspaper headlines from 100 years ago and create a lasting memento of their visit to experience Poppies: Weeping Window.

James Hamilton-Paterson will be talking about his book Marked for Death on Thursday, June 15, at 6pm at the Rolls-Royce Learning and Development Centre. The book pays homage to the famous aircraft of the First World War, as well as to the 50,000 young pilots who died flying them. Tickets are priced at £10, concessions are available.

Award-winning illustrator, comic artist, filmmaker and musician Dave McKean will present his latest venture exploring the work of Paul Nash, one of the most important British artists of the 20th century. Black Dog - The Dreams of Paul Nash at the QUAD on Saturday, June 17, at 8pm combines visual storytelling, a captivating musical score and spoken word performance, Black Dog has toured internationally to much acclaim as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. Tickets are priced at £15, concessions are available.

Elisabeth Shipton will examine the militarisation of women during the First World War in Female Tommies: Women in Uniform in World War One on Monday, 19 June. Tickets are priced at £5.

Derby QUAD will be screening Asunder on Wednesday, June 21 at 7pm. Narrated by Kate Adie, the film tells the story of a quintessential British town during the First World War, where virtually all of its men were fighting abroad and its women and children left behind. There is also an exclusive Q&A with director Esther Johnson. Tickets are priced at £5.

All Quiet on the Western Front will be shown at the QUAD on Sunday, June 25 at 3:20pm. This film is considered a most realistic and harrowing account of warfare, winning Academy Awards for both Outstanding Production and Best Director. Tickets are priced at £5.

Derby Museum and Art Gallery free event WW1: Postcards to the Past on Saturday, July 1, 11am – 2pm lets families to discover and interpret stories of wartime with postcards written during the First World War from the Museum’s own collection.

People can bring along their objects relating to the First World War to WW1: Object Identification with Dr. Mike Galer at Derby Local Studies and Family History Library on Saturday, July 1, from 10am. This event is free to attend.

Dr. Mike Galer will also present Derby at War on Thursday, July 6, at 6pm. This fascinating illustrated talk offers an intimate portrayal of Derby and its people, living in the shadow of the “War to End All Wars”. Tickets are priced at £6.

Ann Featherstone’s Creating and Performing WW1 Fiction: Mrs Eaton’s Home Front on Friday, July 7, at 7pm will explore a series of monologue style short stories, illustrating ideas and techniques in writing and performing historical fiction. Tickets are priced at £5.

Magic Lantern Tales with Ian McMillan and Ian Beesley at The Guildhall Theatre on Tuesday, July 11, at 7pm uses original magic lantern projectors to tell a story of the First World War from the point of view of men who survived it and lived on to old age and a changing world. Tickets are priced at £8 and can be purchased at

The Derby Local Studies and Family History Library will also hold Tracing Your Military Ancestors on Saturday, July 15, at 1.30pm, introducing and helping people to research their community or their ancestors. Tickets are priced at £6.

The Derby Remembers programme has been made possible through the commitment and support of a unique mix of partners that involves arts organisations, libraries, museums and education providers from across the city. The Derby Cultural Education Partnership has also created a bespoke Learning Programme in order to encourage a deeper understanding of the First World War and which supports learning outcomes in art, history and literature.

Tickets for Derby Remembers events are priced individually. For more information on prices and to how to book visit