Blitzed: and HistorianRuby in the Museum of Liverpool

Earlier this month I published this post, about the excellent exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool, Blitzed: Liverpool lives.

It shares photographs taken by Liverpool City Police during the Blitz when Liverpool was bombarded day and night by enemy aeroplanes.

One was taken after the bombing of a residential street on the very day that my fourteen-year-old uncle was machine-gunned by low-flying planes aiming for maximum damage. I wrote about Joseph Boyland here.

The museum invites members of the public to share their family’s story about these images and this adds a particular poignancy to the images that already tell a devastating tale.

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I shared my uncle Joey’s story with the museum and within a couple of days, I’d been contacted by the curator. I’ve waited patiently all month and today Joseph Boyland (11 May 1926 – 18 September 1940) has been memorialised in the Museum of Liverpool for the duration of the exhibition.

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I know that if his brothers were alive they would have done this for him – indeed, his brother Lennie had his name included in a list of civilian victims of the Blitz when there was a memorial service at St Nicholas’ Church, Liverpool, a few years ago.

It now falls to the next generation to keep his memory alive.

It’s a fine example of public history – where the public literally engages with history, often it’s passive consumption, watching TV etc., museums get the public up and about consuming history in a more active way, and then contributing, that’s pretty cool. Well done the Museum of Liverpool.

If you would like to read about The Many Ways to Consume History, click here.


Photo Credit: Photos supplied by Kay Jones, Curator of Blitzed: Liverpool lives. Published with thanks.

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