National recognition for St Agnes display

National recognition for St Agnes display
St Agnes Museum

By: Clare Murton
Added: 24 April 2014

This season, like many other museums, we have chosen to recognise the incredible contribution those who served King and country made to the Great War. We have put together a particularly evocative display of personal items from those who served, fought, nursed and supplied.

The centre piece is a wrist watch, caked in French mud and stopped in it's tracks at 8 o'clock... the precise time its owner. "Wellyn" Harold Llewellyn Twite was killed by a German bomb.

The St Agnes mining engineer had been stationed in France with other Cornish miners. Their job was to use their mining skills to tunnel from France under German lines and set explosives. After one succesful raid they were sadly counter raided by German troops and as Twite sat in his makeshift office writing his report, he and  several of his men were killed by the counter blast.

Other Cornish miners attempting to rescue them were also killed.

A plaque in St Agnes parish church commemorates them all and the museum has letters from their loved ones, personal belongings and a book of remembrance to all St Agnes Service personnel who lost their lives as a consequence of the Great War.

Such is the emotion evoked by the display that BBC Spotlight  News and  ITV News ran features on 24th April this year. The Daily Mail and the Western Morning News also had extensive reports.

Liz Thompson, the museum's press officer and Chairman Roger Radcliffe spoke to the BBC and explained how local mining engineer consultant, David Chilcott, had decided that Harold Twite's (his grandfather's)  belongings should come home to St Agnes after almost a hundred years in mourning.

Curator, Clare Murton, and her assistant Jan Malcolm, have spent the winter catalogueing and photographing the Twite collection before being able to put it on display with the other Great War artefacts.

Clare said " We are expecting enormous interest in this display. We have only been open since Good Friday but have already had more visitors than usual. Of course entry is free so families can make the most of the holidays to enjoy the education or just shy away from any poor weather."