Wives and Sweethearts explores soldiers’ relationships from the 18th century to the present day through a deeply-moving selection of letters and photographs. Displayed alongside are sweetheart brooches, jewellery and other touching love-tokens.
Explore the ‘Wives and Sweethearts’ online exhibition here.
Divided into themes that address the different stages or aspects of soldiers’ love lives, the display asks why a relationship with a soldier is different from that with a civilian. Throughout history, how have those who have served in the Army combined their life with partners and families with their military duties?
’Courtship and Engagement’ explores the beginnings of soldiers’ partnerships. The section focusing on weddings highlights the immense contrast between wartime and peacetime marriage ceremonies, especially in the 20th century. ‘Women of the Regiment’ looks at the roles of women in the Army during the 19th century, while the images brought together under the heading of ‘Army Families’ show more modern soldiers and their families.
The largest part of the exhibition looks at what is perhaps the hardest aspect of life with a soldier; the long periods of separation it often entails. Finally, ‘Reunion’ takes into account the fact that soldiers’ return to their loved ones, although usually joyful in the long run, can often be painful and difficult at first.
Highlights from the exhibition, revealing individual relationships and stories in poignant detail, include:
- A gold ring in a crystal casket sent by Quartermaster Sergeant Porter to his wife after the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815, to let her know that he had survived.
- A letter from Mrs Jones to her husband Sergeant Louis Jones serving in Gibraltar in 1902, to tell him of the death of their eldest child, Teddy, aged three.
- Beautiful embroidered First World War postcards sent from the Western Front by Private H L ‘Holly’ Christmas to his sweetheart Miss Ada Manley in 1916.
- A note sent from Sergeant Anthony Baker serving in the Korean War in 1950, to his wife ‘To the only girl who ever mattered…’
- A ‘bluey’ sent to colleagues by Captain Karen Timperley while she was serving in the Gulf War in 1991, revealing that during the conflict the Army Chaplain was inundated with requests to marry serving couples.
You can catch the exhibition until July 30th in the White Space Gallery at the National Army Museum, details of which can be found here.
As a big fan of the 1950s, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and musicals, I personally am particularly excited about this Vintage Secret announcement. Coming soon to the West End is a spectacular musical, featuring music from the most exciting decade in 20th Century music history. With a song list that will have everyone tapping their feet, there’s bound to be dancing in the aisles!
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, the new West End musical that tells the electrifying story of the night in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis came together to make music and ended up making history, will star Ben Goddard (Jerry Lee Lewis), Derek Hagen (Johnny Cash), Francesca Jackson (Dyanne), Robert Britton Lyons (Carl Perkins) and Michael Malarkey (Elvis Presley), joining the previously announced Bill Ward (Sam Phillips).
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET features over 20 classic hits including: Blue Suede Shoes, I Walk The Line, Fever, Great Balls of Fire, Hound Dog, Folsom Prison Blues and Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.
MILLLION DOLLAR QUARTET will open at London’s Noël Coward Theatre on 28 February 2011 with previews from 8 February 2011. Tickets are now on sale here
As one of the world’s most visionary living designers, Yohji Yamamoto has made profound contributions to fashion in the 30 years since his Paris debut. A true vanguard, Yamamoto’s work has been celebrated by discerning editors and arts organisations the world over.
Given Vintage Secret’s own obsession with the avant garde icon, we’re eagerly awaiting Yamamoto’s first solo exhibition in the UK, kicking off on 12 March 2011 at the Victoria and Albert Museum London. His forward-thinking, futuristic garments will be displayed alongside Renaissance sculptures and marble staircases, the exhibition designed by long-time Yamamoto collaborator Masao Nihei. The retrospective will be the first to exhibit items from his menswear collections, in addition to mixed media—from photographs to films—reflecting the depth of Yamamoto’s prolific career.
Tickets to the exhibition are £7, with concessions available. Keep an eye on the V&A website for more information in the new year. V&A members may attend for free.
© Photograph by Ronald Stoops
Yohji Yamamoto at the Victoria and Albert Museum
When: 12 March – 10 July 2011
Where: The Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL, +44 (0)20 7942 2000
Price: £7.00, concessions available; V&A members attend for free
Dance the night away in an original 1920s dance hall to smoking swing, hot R’n'B and Jump Jive.
Tickets are just £5 and you can bring your own food and drink and dance the night away to sounds from the Swing King DJ’s; Mark’s Kickin’ the Boogie and Woody’s War Department.
A fabulous night guaranteed.