Until now Alexandra Palace’s vital role in World War One has been known to only a few. But now you can discover the part it played, first as a refugee centre for displaced Belgian citizens and later as an internment camp for German and Austrian ’enemy aliens’, in a new exhibition War on the Home Front.

The People’s Palace received £59,400 in financial backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to tell the story and historic items have been assembled from across the UK and reunited for the first time in 100 years.

They include archive photographs, original watercolour paintings by German artist George Kenner, bone carvings and postcards.

A ten-minute documentary has also been produced by Middlesex University as part of the year-long exhibition and will take viewers back to Ally Pally’s time as a camp using extracts from internees’ letters and memoirs, archive film footage and photographs taken at the Palace at the time.

Visitors can also step into the past at historic points around the park and buildings using a digital app that will display what internees did there using imagery and descriptions.

Chief executive for Alexandra Palace, Duncan Wilson OBE says: “With so many eyes looking to Europe to commemorate the Great War in this centenary year, we wanted to tell the little known story of war on the home front at Alexandra Palace.

“We hope this exhibition will demonstrate the profound impact the thousands of refugees and prisoners at Alexandra Palace during that time had on the local community.“

There will also be a year-long programme of events to complement the exhibition with bi-monthly talks and workshops held in the Transmitter Hall from December presented by history experts who will share stories and information from this time through a variety of topics and themes including: Christmas in UK refugee camps, Alexandra Palace’s prison camp, music at internment camps and World War One history tours around Alexandra Park and Palace.

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Way, N22, until September 2015. Details: alexandrapalace.com