WFA Oxford Bound!
Twelve months pass quickly for the WFA. This year the AGM and Conference will be held at the lovely venue of Mansfield College, Oxford University on 14 April 2012. The lectures and formal AGM business will be conducted in the wonderful surroundings of the College Chapel, a beautiful setting with some plaques on the walls marking those who lost their lives in the Great War.
This year is special in that both our two speakers are women and our new President, Professor Peter Simkins will give his first address at an AGM.
Our first main speaker in the morning is Sue Light who will be familiar to some members as a first class speaker and she will talk on ‘No Task too Great: VADs and the Great War'.
In addition, Education Trustee David Seymour has conducted some research on a past Mansfield College person who died on the first day at the Battle of the Somme and whose plaque is in the Chapel. He will speak briefly on this before Sue.
In the afternoon, we have Author and Commonwealth War Graves Historian, Julie Summers who will speak on ‘Remembered: A History of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission'.
The formal proceedings of the AGM follow Julie but this year Professor Peter Simkins will talk for half an hour or so on ‘Everyman at War Revisited'. This will be an update of a paper he wrote 21 years ago called ‘Everyone at War' about how historians, between the 1960s and early 1990s, had re-explored the front line experience of junior officers and other ranks on the Western Front. He will seek to reassess what he wrote then in the light of recent research, new technology (the internet etc) in order to examine if our collective views have changed since the days of Lyn Macdonald et al.
It promises to be an excellent occasion and we hope members will be attracted by the speakers and venue.
Anyone planning to attend should let the Secretary know no later than 31 March using the form in the Bulletin (or a photocopy of it) so that adequate catering can be arranged.
Those wishing to enjoy the buffet lunch must send their form and cheque to the Secretary within the same deadline. There is no provision for paying on the day and lunch numbers have to be confirmed by the Secretary to the College by that deadline.
(picture shows Steve in solemn mood at the WFA's 2010 Annual Cenotaph Ceremony of Remembance, courtesy Roy Backhouse)