Join us for a free event at Westgate Hall, Canterbury, to launch two new booklets exploring the history of First World War battlefield visits during the 1920s and 1930s.
The booklets are the result of the Visiting and Revisiting the Battlefields crowd-sourcing project devised by Professor Mark Connelly and supported by a team of volunteer researchers, funded by Gateways to the First World War through the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The method for exploring the phenomenon of battlefield visiting was to search for stories in three digital collections: the British Newspaper Archive, Irish Newspaper Archives and the National Library of Australia digitised newspaper collection, Trove. The research has allowed new insights to be made into a number of areas, including motivations for visits to the battlefields, the practicalities of travel, and the variety of reactions to the experiences of visiting the sites and to the changing landscapes in the area. The project has uncovered the deep significance of the battlefields to British and Australian culture during the 1920s and 1930s.
The event will include a screening of the 1918 film Ypres – The Shell Shattered City of Flanders, talks from current battlefield guides, and roundtable discussion of some of the key themes raised by the project.
Lunch will be provided.
Venue: Westgate Hall, Westgate Hall Road, Canterbury, CT1 2BT
We recommend that visitors use public transport to reach the venue, which is approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Canterbury West railway station and 15 minutes’ walk from Canterbury East railway station. Parking is available in the adjacent Pound Lane car park at £1.50 an hour and in other city centre car parks. Information about travelling to Canterbury can be found here.
11:00 - 11:30: Arrival and registration
11:30 - 12:30: Opening remarks by Professor Mark Connelly, launch of the Visiting and Revisiting the Battlefields booklets, and screening of Ypres – The Shell Shattered City of Flanders
12:30 - 13:30: Lunch
13:30 - 14:15: Talks from current battlefield guides on their own personal approaches and experiences
14:15 - 15:15: Roundtable discussion led by Professor Connelly
15:15: Event ends
Please note that during the evening Gateways will be hosting a seminar at the University of Kent: *Professor Marnix Beyen (University of Antwerp), “You who never stopped defending the poor poilus of the frontline.” Parisian soldiers approaching their député during the First World War.. Darwin Lecture Theatre 1, 6pm. All welcome.
For further information please contact Zoë Denness at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Tourists in Ypres, Whit Monday, 1919. © Jeremy Gordon-Smith