Manchester Historic Association exhibit explores the impact of the Great War on Manchester

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The caisson bearing the flag-draped casket of Lt. William H. Jutras was the focal point of the somber funeral ceremony that was held at St. Raphael’s Parish in Manchester in 1921. Manchester Historic Association Photo.

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Historic Association is hosting a new exhibit that explores the impact of World War I on the city of Manchester and the many men from the community who took part in the conflict.

The exhibit, called “Manchester and the Great War,” will be unveiled at an opening reception at the Millyard Museum at 200 Bedford Street on Sept. 19 from 5-7 p.m. It will be open to museum visitors on Sept. 20.

“Even though many of the soldiers who were lost in the conflict are memorialized throughout Manchester – consider Henry J. Sweeney, William H. Jutras, Christos Kalivas and Henry Gossler, among others – there is still a general lack of understanding about both the causes and the effects of the war, particularly as it was felt here in Manchester,” said MHA Executive Director John Clayton.

“By drawing from the MHA collections, we will be able to cite their sacrifice, while also assembling a striking exhibit featuring weapons, uniforms, flags, photographs and other ephemera,” Clayton added.

The exhibit will run through Dec. 31, and was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the Great War on Nov. 11, 1918.

The Liberty Loan Parade in 1918 brought thousands to Elm Street to raise funds for the war effort. Manchester Historic Association Photo.

The lead curator for the exhibit is MHA Research Manager Daniel Peters, an Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient who was wounded in combat in Afghanistan. His work with the MHA collection formed the basis of his thesis for his master’s degree in history at Southern New Hampshire University.

“The first World War is really a forgotten topic in our society,” Peters said. “More information is available about World War II mostly due to the large number of veterans who are still around. World War I participants are gone now, and history dies quickly if there isn’t a direct link to the days of the past.”

Each Saturday during the month of November, the Millyard Museum will host screenings of World War I films such as “Sergeant York,” Paths of Glory” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” to provide additional context on the Great  War.

Sponsors for the exhibit include the Manchester Veterans Council, Henry J. Sweeney American Legion Post No. 2, the Disabled American Veterans, VFW Post 8214 and William H. Jutras American Legion Post No. 43.

For more information on “Manchester and the Great War,” call 603-622-7531 or go to www.manchesterhistoric.org.

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