Community, Identity and Commemoration: Britain and the First World War public conference

Community, Identity and Commemoration: Britain and the First World War Venue Heap Lecture Theatre, University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB

Event date: Friday, 23 June 2017 at 1.00 PM

The Passchendaele campaign, fought in the Flanders mud, provides many of the most enduring images of the Western Front. It also remains one of the most controversial battles of the First Word War.

Join us at this public conference where the continuing reinterpretation of the battle will be discussed as we approach the 100th anniversary of the ‘Battle of Mud’.

The academic controversies concerning the Passchendaele campaign have often reflected differing viewpoints on British identity and the extent to which the War exemplified British values. The conference will explore how the War impacted on Britain’s communities and the impact it has had on the evolution of a shared identity. It will examine the various ways in which Britain has marked the First World War centenary, examining the social, cultural and political influences that have shaped the commemorations.

As the Silk Mill Museum in Derby hosts the Weeping Window, from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ by Paul Cummins, this conference provides an opportunity to discuss what impact the centenary events have had on public knowledge and understanding of the Great War.


13.00 Welcome
13.15 ‘The Battle of Mud’: Perspectives on the Passchendaele Campaign, 1917 with Dr Ian Whitehead
14.00 Break
14.15 Derby Public Parks in the First World War and Beyond: Recovering a Hidden History of the Home Front with Professor Paul Elliott
15.00 Break
15.15 Life in Ruhleben Camp: Edwardian Britain in Microcosm with Christopher Batten
15.45 Requiem: Foulds, Beaverbrook and a ‘British’ Festival of Remembrance with Thomas Debaere
16.00 Break
16.15 Communities, Government and Heritage: The Centenary of the First World War and Public History with Kathleen McIlvenna
17.00 Close

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