What Royston Did ...

News and Events

Recent and Past Events

13th October to 17th November 2018

2018 saw the centenary of the Armistice which ended the first World War. To commemorate this historic event the “What Royston Did …” project collaborated with the Royston and District Museum and Art Gallery to produce an exhbition. 

The display honoured the fallen and, in extracts taken from letters they wrote to their loved ones at home, they gave accounts of the events which they witnessed. 

The exhibition also covered the efforts to support the war made by those who stayed at home, from caring for the wounded who were repatriated to raising funds, from the buildings which were commandeered to support given to refugees.

There were short biographies of the men who are listed on the town’s War Memorial, together with photographs where these were available. 

6th to 18th November 2018

This display showed how the town celebrated the coming of peace at the end of the Great War and how it built its memorial to those who did not return at the end of the conflict.

Royston certainly did its bit for the war effort. Not only did many of its menfolk leave to fight at the front line, those who remained did all they could to support them and the wider war effort.

When it was over, and the men who survived mostly returned, the town turned its attention to celebrating the peace and remembering those who died.

image-extracts from exhibition

7th to 12th November 2017

What Royston Did presented an exhibition honouring men from Royston and its surrounding villages who fought at the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.

There was information about the battle, the men who fought and how those in Royston at the time received news of events in Flanders and further afield.

Presented in association with Royston Museum and Art Gallery.

More information about Passchendaele
image-donkey and barrel organ

July to September 2016

The display covered Royston’s involvement in World War I on the home front and was part of the Royston museum’s Community Cabinet project.

It showed how the town’s soldier’s hospital cared for over 2,400 wounded men and some of the more unusual ways Royston raised funds for the war effort. 

Find out about the soldier's hospitalFind out about fundraising
image soldiers in trench

The exhibition, which ran from 9th to 20th November at St John the Baptist Church in Royston, marked the centenary of the Somme. It told of some of the men who died in and survived this most tragic of battles.

It was organised in association with Royston and District Museum and Art Gallery and we wish to express our thanks to Reverend Heidi Huntley for making the Church available to us.

Details of the stories told in the exhibition can be found on the pages on this site dedicated to the Battle of the Somme.

See the material from the exhibition

Royston’s Call to Arms - Volumes 1 and 2

Volume 1 - 1914 to 1915

A new book covering letters and interviews from 1914/15 researched and compiled from Royston's local newspaper, the Crow, was launched on 2nd July 2016 at Royston and District Museum and Art Gallery.

Volume 2 - 1916 to 1919

The second volume of letters, interviews and stories from a market town in Herfordshire is now available for purchase. It covers France and Flanders in the period from 1916 to 1919.

It tells the stories from the battles of Arras, Somme and Passchendaele and of the heroism of the medical teams and stretcher bearers. There are experiences of the prisoners of war and the story of a civilian from Royston stranded in the town of Charleroi in Belgium. 

Volumes 1 and 2 cost £7.00 individually and £13.00 when purchased as a set. The books can be purchased via the Royston and District Local History Society’s web site as one of the society’s publications and at the Royston and District Museum and Art Gallery.

image soldiers on christmas leave

The stories behind the photograph

On 7th November 2015 Royston Museum, Hertfordshire hosted an opportunity to discover the stories behind the 17 men in this photograph taken on Boxing Day 1917. They are described as the Royston Boys who were among many in the town served in World War One.

Within a year the war was at an end. During that time one of the men had died and two more become prisoners of war.

It was an interesting day with one visitor telling us he was related to two men in the photograph whilst we met others who had relatives that served but were not in the photograph.