This annual seminar series, now in its eighth year, and supported by The Western Front Association is organised by the University of Kent School of History and the In Flanders Fields MuseumLeper/Ypres, Belgium. It will cover a variety of topics on the First World War.

As in previous years the lectures will alternate between Canterbury and Leper/Ypres.

The seminar series will complement the ‘For Evermore: cemeteries of the First World War’ exhibition at the In Flanders Fields Museum.

The Canterbury events are:

  • Thursday 7 December 2023 : Hauling Bodies: exhuming and concentrating the war dead in Belgium – a lecture by Margot Melsens (In Flanders Fields Museum) focusing on this movement of bodies in the post-war year
  • Thursday 1 February 2024 : Langemark German Cemetery, a place of myth, misconceptions and mistruth – a lecture by Roger Steward (Battlefield guide and independent scholar)
  • Thursday 22 February 2024 : The Belgian War Graves of the First World War – a lecture by Lt Col Rob Troubleyn
  • Thursday 21 March 2024 : Missing at the front, 1914-1918: 20 years of archaeological research of missing persons in Belgium – a lecture by Dr Birger Stichelbaut (University of Ghent) and Simon Verdegem (archaeologist)

These will take place in Keynes College Seminar Room 16, University of Canterbury, Kent at 6:00pm.

The Leper/Ypres events are:

  • Thursday 23 November 2023: Commemorating Ireland in the Leper/Ypres Salient since 1917 – Hosted by Dr Timothy Bowman (University of Kent)
  • Thursday 18 January 2024: ‘The light bulb moment when the penny drops’: Pilgrimage and tourism along the Western Front. Hosted by Amy Harrison (PhD student, University of Kent)
  • Thursday 8 February 2024: Under an English Heaven: Ideas of England in the entrance ways of IWGC war cemeteries on the old Western Front – a lecture by Dr Tim Godden (artist and Honorary Fellow, University of Kent)
  • Thursday 7 March 2024: Photographing the Fallen: Ivan Bawtree and War Graves Photography on the Western Front, 1915-1919 – Hosted by Jeremy Gordon-Smith (photographer and descendant of Ivan Bawtree)

These will take place in the Educational Room of In Flanders Fields Museum, Cloth Hall, Grote Markt, 8900 at 7:00pm. 

Guided Tours

Professor Mark Connelly will be providing free guided tours of St. George’s Memorial Church in Ypres. The church maintains its original aims of serving as a memorial to the war dead of Britain and the Commonwealth, as a place of worship and reflection for those visiting the battlefields, cemeteries and memorials, as well as the Anglican community of the district. 

Guided tours will take place at 10.30 on: Friday 24 November, Friday 19 January, Friday 9 February, Friday 8 March.