A powerful new exhibition has opened at Camborne Town Library to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

Playing for Camborne: music and rugby in World War One runs from Wednesday, October 9 to Saturday, November 30.

There will be an official launch on Thursday, November 7, from 6pm-8pm.

“This exhibition throws a spotlight on the wartime experience of miners from Dolcoath who went out to the Western Front in 1914 after war broke out,” says Susan Roberts, director of the charity Bridging Arts, which organised the exhibition with Heritage Lottery funding.

“The miners, part of Dolcoath’s St John Ambulance team, went straight to work collecting the wounded and dying. The following spring, they organised three rugby matches between Cornish and Devon soldiers after Camborne Rugby Club sent out a ball – and it’s these three historic matches that have led to the exhibition on now in Camborne.”

One by one, the descendants of the men who played have come forward, including the great great grandson of Fred Negus, one of the miners.

Corey Williams, aged 14, is in Camborne Youth Band and his family have Fred’s 100-year-old bugle.

Over August Bank Holiday weekend last year, thanks to Heritage Lottery funding which covered travel costs, Corey and the Youth Band followed in the men’s footsteps and travelled out to the Western Front.

Camborne Town Council also generously provided a grant towards the costs of the trip.

The band played the 100-year-old bugle and took a rugby ball, signed by current Cornwall and Devon teams, to honour the memory of the three famous rugby matches.

They visited:

· Estaires, in northern France, where the men were stationed and presented the rugby ball to the town

· Sailly-sur-la-Lys, where a Cornishman from the Field Ambulance is buried

· The Menin Gate, Ypres, where they played to a crowd of thousands.

“Everyone in the band wanted to let people back in Cornwall know about their experience and to thank them for their support in helping to make this happen,” says Susan.

“Very many dozens of local businesses, organisations and individuals also donated to cover the cost of the Band’s trip. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of them.”

Exhibition opening times:

Camborne Library TR14 8HA

9.30am - 5pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday

9.30am - 130pm Saturday

October 9 - November 30.

For more information, call Susan Roberts on 07772 128 014 or email susanroberts@bridging-arts.com