The exhibition showcases nine wedding dresses worn over a period of nearly 100 years (Picture: Fusilier Museum).
Heritage

'Every Dress Tells A Different Story': History Of Army Bride Fashion Showcased

The exhibition looks at how fashion has changed over the decades, with the oldest dress first being worn in 1915.

The exhibition showcases nine wedding dresses worn over a period of nearly 100 years (Picture: Fusilier Museum).

Left - Captain Jack Sutcliffe and his wife Kathleen in 1915, right - Richard and Francesca Smith in 2011 (Picture: Fusilier Museum).

An exhibition has been launched to showcase the changing Army bridal fashion through the decades.

'Army Brides: Dresses through the Decades' features nine wedding dresses from 1915 to 2011, looking at the changes in style and trends across nearly 100 years. 

The majority of the dresses have been loaned to the Fusilier Museum in Bury by military wives. Most of them are part of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers family.

The oldest dress belonged to Kathleen Sutcliffe who married in 1915 (Picture: Fusilier Museum).
The oldest dress belonged to Kathleen Sutcliffe who married in 1915 (Picture: Fusilier Museum).

Helena Briden, the museum's general manager, said: “This new exhibition enables visitors old and new to take a fascinating look at 100 years of bridal fashion.

"Without the support of our Army brides and their kind donations this exhibition wouldn’t have been possible, so a huge thank you to them for taking part and we look forward to sharing their stories.”

Nine dresses are included in the exhibition (Picture: Fusilier Museum).
Nine dresses are included in the exhibition (Picture: Fusilier Museum).

The oldest dress included in the exhibition was worn by Kathleen Sutcliffe who married Captain Jack Sutcliffe, 2/6th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1915 before going off to fight in the First World War.

The museum secured a grant from the Association of Independent Museums to conserve the 104-year-old dress so it could be restored and fit for public display.

One of the more modern dresses belongs to Helen Head, the wife of the current Commanding Officer of First Fusiliers, Chris Head.

Helen Head's strapless corset and seperate skirt dress at the Fusilier Museum (Picture: Fusilier Museum).
Helen Head's strapless corset and seperate skirt dress at the Fusilier Museum (Picture: Fusilier Museum).

The dress, worn in 2004, consists of a strapless corset and separate skirt which was reflective of bridal trends at the time.

Mrs Head said that 'it’s a great honour to have the dress included in the exhibition': 

"Every dress tells a different story so it’s great that we have the opportunity to share the story of our special day and of course see my dress again."

The exhibition will run until 21 June.