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Rare First World War objects go on display in Croydon

gas mask ww1 Image copyright Whitgift Exhibition
Image caption The 'PH' Helmet was an early gas mask. The fabric was soaked in chemicals to protect the wearer from poison gas. The rattle was to sound the alert

Hundreds of unique objects from the First World War will go on display at a major new exhibition in Croydon.

A century after the Battle of Verdun, the Whitgift Exhibition Centre will host original uniforms and weaponry, rare first issues of the trench newspaper The Wipers Times and recruitment posters.

Visitors can see mock-ups of trenches and an Edwardian drawing room.

Many items have never been on public display before.

Image copyright Danny Fitzpatrick
Image caption A German Iron Cross box with box and bracelet

Remembering 1916 - Life on the Western Front tells the story of the war through objects, displays and testimony from individuals on both sides.

Image copyright Danny Fitzpatrick
Image caption A German Pickelhaube helmet with spike in the shape of a ball, indicating it was worn by an artilleryman

A locket holds a portrait of an unknown airman from the Royal Flying Corps, with a fragment of fabric from the Red Baron's red triplane.

Image copyright Whitgift Exhibition
Image caption On the reverse is a remnant from Manfred von Richthofen's triplane

Re-enacted rooms from the period show call-up papers arriving in the hallway of an Edwardian home.

Image copyright Danny Fitzpatrick
Image caption The exhibition includes a re-enacted Edwardian drawing-room of the kind a soldier might have enjoyed on leave

Numerous weapons are on display, including pistols, a German trench club and machine guns.

Image copyright Whitgift Exhibition
Image caption By 1917, more than a million of the British Mills grenades were produced every week

Many exhibits come from France, including a railway station sign from Verdun, a military priest's hat and grave markers.

Image copyright Whitgift Exhibition
Image caption Many soldiers never received a proper burial. The French used these grave markers to indicate where they fell

Remembering 1916 opens on 12 March and runs until 31 August 2016.

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