York Castle Museum

1914: When the World Changed Forever

The terror of total war and its revolutionary impact on life globally is explored in this major exhibition marking the centenary of the First World War.

From the pre-war golden age of peace and prosperity visitors are sent to the recruitment office and travel via train to the horrors of the frontline – from rats to foot rot, shell shock to gas warfare. Back home, daily life in Britain was changing beyond recognition while around the world millions would die as Europe’s empires clashed in the first truly global conflict.

New technology and research are combined with the museum’s extensive military, costume and social history collections to tell the fascinating and often moving stories of the Yorkshire people who lived and died during the war that they said would end all wars.

The exhibition is the central part of a £1.7 million project at the museum, with the majority of the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The exhibition opened on 28 June 2014 – 100 years to the day that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, which then sparked a chain of events which led to the outbreak of war.

Find out more about the exhibition and some of the fascinating finds on Google Arts & Culture.

Due to fire evacuation requirements, the exhibition can only allow access to two wheelchair users at a time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. For more information on Access at our museum, please click here.

Community Room

York Castle Museum’s Community Room is a space for community groups and organisations to create their own displays based on our exhibition 1914: When the World Changed Forever.