WYLAM Library is playing host to a First World War exhibition that’s been four years in the making.

Boards telling the stories of Wylam men who fought in the war, alongside a list of all the men from the village who lost their lives, were on display at Wylam Methodist Church for Remembrance Sunday.

The exhibition was moved to the library on Tuesday, where it will remain for the next few weeks.

The project is the result of four years of hard work from five volunteers – Roy Koerner, Aubrey Smith, Phillip Brookes, David Petrit and Helena Bates.

Helena, who worked at the library before retiring 18 months ago, explained that the exhibition gives an insight into what life was like in wartime Wylam.

She said: “We’ve done it from the point of view of what was going on in Wylam at the time, what the villagers were doing and what the prominent families were doing.

“We moved it from the church on Tuesday, I’m very relieved that it got there safely – there were a few dicey moments!

“It’s been an ongoing project for the last four years. It was started by three men from the village – Roy, Aubrey, and Phillip.

“I came on board because they asked me if they could show it at the library. David does all the graphics; he’s a very clever man.

“Phillip was a well known historian, he was the brains behind the project, but sadly we lost him earlier this year; he died suddenly.”

The bulk of the project was dedicated to finding information about the 136 men who lived in the village and served in the war, inspired by an article in The Courant from 1920.

The story described a presentation evening for the men who served and the families of those who died, with each of them awarded a ‘Wylam medal.’

Helena continued: “We’ve done research on all of the 136 men, and managed to find out about most of them, some more than others. We’ve put all the information on a big chart which shows each of the men. The parish council paid to have it properly printed.

“My husband and I, in the course of the project, visited almost all of the graves of the men who died.

“It’s very humbling; you have years and years of going to the memorial service and seeing the names on the memorial, but when you research the stories, it puts a different perspective on it. They were just lads, and it makes it very real.”