Blood Sweat and Tears – Afghanistan The Untold Story

20/05/2019 10:00 am - 04/09/2019 6:00 pm

Cumbria's Museum of Military Life, Carlisle, UK


Opening  on 20th May until 4th September 2019

Earlier this year Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life in Carlisle Castle reached out to veterans of Afghanistan in a bid to add a more contemporary record to its already extensive archive to ensure Afghanistan is not forgotten.

A team of veterans have now come together to form a thought provoking exhibition which they have named – Blood, Sweat and Tears – Afghanistan, The Untold Story.

The exhibition opens on 20th May and is not just about guns and bullets. The Museum wanted to record the ordinary person’s experience of Afghanistan. How did they cope with the weather, the daily life and routine, kit, equipment, food, accommodation and of course the humour.

A grant towards the funding for the exhibition has come from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust who support the Armed Forces Community.

The Museum and veterans have worked together to provide a backdrop film of oral recordings for the exhibition as well as contemporary archive. Their recollections have been filmed, recorded or written down and this exhibition, based on mutual discussions is the culmination of their work and seen through their eyes.

Rob said:
“All water was bottled and due to the heat and no fridges – we drank hot water for 6 months! It was one of the greatest experiences of my life – for good and bad reasons. I’m glad I did it, but I’d not enjoy doing it again!”

The exhibition features poignant thoughts from veterans including Rupert who wrote:

“On most days we put ourselves in harm’s way as we patrolled the hostile streets and fields within our area of responsibility. It was lethal, hot, challenging, exhilarating and highly dangerous all in equal measure. Our mission as British Forces was to support the government of Afghanistan by defeating the Taliban. My personal mission was to bring 120 young men in my command home safely. I failed in both missions.”

Jules Wooding, Learning and Access Officer at Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life said:

“The British Army have had a long connection with Afghanistan having fought in four conflicts over the past 180 years with many lives lost. Blood, Sweat and Tears gives an insight into the lives of those that were recently there. From ammunition to ablutions, solar showers to spiders, camp cots to combat medics. It is important to understand how our armed forces lived and worked in a hostile climate, where conditions were harsh and the terrain unforgiving.”

Blood, Sweat and Tear – Afghanistan, The Untold Story opens on 20 May until 4 September
For further information please contact Jules Wooding at the Museum Jules.wooding@cmoml.org
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust makes grants to support the Armed Forces Community. We manage the grant programmes funded by the Covenant Fund. They also run wider funding programmes that support the Armed Forces Community.

The covenant is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

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