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21 Sept 2022
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Angelina Foster
Reporter:
KildareNow reporter
24 Aug 2022 2:25 PM
An artist based in South Kildare is researching an exhibition about Kildare links to World War One soldiers buried in France.  
Angelina Foster of the Blueway Art Studio in Narraghmore received a Decade of Commemorations award from Kildare County Council to create a body of work for the exhibition on the experiences of women during WWI specifically the mothers and wives of WWI soldiers buried in France.
Angelina said: "I am hoping to speak to people who have connections with soldiers buried in France, the ones who never came home.
"These women and families never got to visit the graves of their loved ones, and the new Ireland the families lived in post WWI was very different from when they enlisted, with many families taking their secrets to the grave."
Angelina went to visit some of the cemeteries in France/Belgium at the end of June and was shocked at the amount of Kildare boys and men buried or commemorated there.
She added: "I used the book published last year by Karl Kiely, James Durney and Mario Corrigan to find the graves of Kildare soldiers in cemeteries I visited.
"I’ve started making inks and paint from poppies, as a symbol of WWI remembrance, which I hope to use in the exhibition.
"I’ve had a couple of families contact me so far. I would love to reach out to people who have stories of how their families were impacted, especially considering there was huge poverty in Ireland.
"If anyone has letters, postcards or photos they would be willing to share or even to speak with me it would be great, maybe they have an old treasure chest of family documents in their attic.
"It can be difficult to separate the stories of the women from the soldiers, everyone wants to talk about the young soldiers, many slaughtered in French battlefields, but there were heroes at home trying to raise families and survive in many different ways."
Full details are on the project are here: https://bluewayartstudio.ie/ war-widows/
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