First World War ‘Doughboys’ arrive at Liverpool ONE
American soldiers, or ‘Doughboys’, and their entry into the First World War in 1917 provide the focus of a major photographic exhibition at Liverpool ONE.
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Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918 is the latest in an acclaimed series of centenary photographic exhibitions, created by Michael St Maur Sheil, to document the battlefields of the First World War as they are today.
Liverpool is the second stop on a six city tour of the exhibition, which is supported by the U.S. Embassy in London.
The free exhibition will be located on Thomas Steers Way opposite the Hilton Hotel between May 18 and June 25. It has been commissioned by the National World War I Museum and Memorial in the U.S. and is supported by U.S. Embassy in London. Fifteen display stands will present St Maur Sheil’s evocative images in a similar format to his highly successful ‘Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: Somme 1916’ exhibition last year.
More than two million American soldiers, or Doughboys as they were known, served in Europe during the war. This exhibition introduces the viewer to the battlefields which, 100 years ago, were places of death and horror, now revealed by the photographer as landscapes of great beauty and tranquility. The exhibition was in London from April 6-May 12.
Lewis Lukens, Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom said:
“Liverpool shares so much history with the U.S. Two months after Congress declared war in 1917, the American Expeditionary Force embarked for France via Liverpool. A rest camp for American Troops was established in Knotty Ash. A YMCA hut was set up on Lord Street. The American Hospital in Mossley Hill saw regular musical entertainment, and baseball games took place at Port Sunlight. Later, American public holidays were celebrated on Merseyside. In fact, between April 1917 and September 1918, more than 800,000 American men and women passed through the city of Liverpool – by far the busiest port in the UK to receive U.S. troops and supporters.
Today, the United States and United Kingdom – and millions of our service members – are providing the global leadership that cements our enduring partnership and makes our countries more secure. Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace…marks the sacrifices made by the men and women of America in that conflict which shaped our world in the 20th century.”
Dr. Matthew Naylor, President and CEO, National World War I Museum and Memorial, said:
“The National World War I Museum is committed to understanding the Great War and how the conflict continues to affect the world to this day. The Museum holds the most comprehensive WWI collection in the world and uses that to tell the global story – an approach that differs from our peer institutions. We also have the responsibility to take the collection to new audiences. The impact of the Great War set in motion a deep and sustained relationship with our European partners, including the United Kingdom, making this powerful exhibition even more impactful.
“Through this exhibition in partnership Michael St Maur Sheil, we trace the journey of the American forces in 1917 and 1918, and commemorate their efforts. It is beautiful and poignant work. We’re grateful for our partnership with the City of London and the
United States Embassy in London, which made it possible for this remarkable exhibition.”
Photographer Michael St Maur Sheil said:
“The U.S. involvement in the First World War was a hugely significant factor. Today, it is often overlooked, but it was a New World coming to the aid of an Old World, from which many of the young American soldiers – as first generation immigrants – had sought to escape. Their humanitarian effort in supplying and shipping over seven million tons of food to save the peoples of Belgium and northern France from starvation marked the advent of America as a united nation.”
Donna Howitt, Marketing Director at Liverpool ONE, said:
“It is important that we reflect and remember those who gave their lives over a hundred years ago. Liverpool is proud of its strong, historical links to the US and this exhibition is a poignant tribute I would encourage all visitors to Liverpool city centre to see as part of their trip.”
The U.S. Embassy thanks Liverpool ONE and the National World War I Museum for their co-operation and assistance in making this event a success.