‘War Time’ 2016

International Society for First World War Studies

Maison Française d’Oxford, 10-11 November 2016

The Museum recently granted permission for a photo of Harold Llewellyn Twite’s wristwatch to be used as the 2016 conference logo by the International Society for First World War Studies. The Society contacted the Museum after the widely publicised tragic story of mining engineer Harold Llewellyn Twite and his men attracted their interest. Once every two years (or thereabouts), the Society holds an academic conference to share new research from “postgrads and postdocs” and to enable every type of First World War scholar to share their perspectives.

Watch belonging to Harold Llewellyn Twite
Watch belonging to Harold Llewellyn Twite

Still a focal point in our Great War display at the Museum, the story of H L Twite and the service of Cornish mining engineers and miners in tunnelling operations makes an important link between mining in St Agnes and the Great War. Cornish mines suffered a significant reduction in labour during the war; the most important in St Agnes at the time (Wheal Kitty) saw over 50% of its workforce sign-up, this being partly responsible for a suspension of mining operations in 1918.

View the photo and the Oxford conference details

The Museum is credited as follow:

Logo image: Watch belonging to Harold Llewellyn Twite (1879-1915), which stopped at the moment of his death. “Twite, a St Agnes-born mining engineer, was posted to France in September 1915 and led a team of Cornish miners tunnelling under the German trenches to detonate explosives. On 1 December 1915, Twite and four of his fellow Cornishmen were blown up by a German mine. His watch stopped at that moment.” Credit: St Agnes Museum, used with permission.

Roger Radcliffe

Man Engine visits St Agnes

Giant Bolster had a rival when the UK’s largest mechanical puppet, a 10 metre-plus Cornish Man Engine – a miner – arrived at St Agnes Head on 1 August on one of the wettest days of the summer.  Despite the constant rain and mist there was a somewhat damp crowd to greet him.

The Man Engine visits St Agnes
The Man Engine visits St Agnes

He was accompanied by a team of miners and bal maidens who created a theatrical show of music and story telling.

The Man Engine, a fantastic feat of Cornish engineering, attracted huge crowds wherever he went.

The National Trust, which owns St Agnes Head, arranged a guided walk, led by Museum Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, which finished at the entrance to St Agnes Head to coincide with the procession.  Twenty-four hardy walkers braved the weather to take part.