Waddesdon at War
25 Mar-25 Oct 2015House
Continuing from 2014, this exhibition marks the centenary of the First World War. Drawn from the Archive and Rothschild memorabilia collections, and including loans from other collections, it looks at the Manor and Estate during the war from the perspective of the family and staff. As Europe was fractured by the conflict, the exhibition also explores the impact of the war on the wider Rothschild family, including those in Austria, Germany and France.
There were approximately 200 staff working at Waddesdon in 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War. They fought in all theatres of war from France and Flanders to Egypt and Palestine in every branch of the armed forces. Over the last year we have been researching the fate of these men and will be telling the stories of some of those who went to war using archival research, documents and images.
Letters sent by Alice de Rothschild to Johnson, giving him instructions about what to grow at Waddesdon and talking about the impact of the war on family and staff, are also included, displayed alongside estate records from the time. The correspondence between Mr and Mrs James de Rothschild during the period James was serving first in France and then Palestine also survives and illuminates the experience of the Rothschild family at home and abroad.