Different perspectives on World War I

Pam Mills

The eight lectures, running from next week to November, will look at a wide-ranging variety of topics both conventional, such as an appraisal of the roles of Field Marshall Haig and the tank corps, and controversial, for example how the largely untold German accounts of the war can change our perception of what happened.

The talks will be held in the Cawthorne Lecture Theatre from 7pm, with tickets available for £4 from paypal.me/tonfwwtalks/4

Admittance for the whole series is £20 from paypal.me/tonfwwtalks/20

Tickets also available from Mr Books bookstore at 142 High Street or mrbooks.co.uk

PICTURE: CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Field Marshal Douglas Haig is one of the controversial subjects

Programme of Talks:

Thursday, September 13: Challenging History

Historian and broadcaster Peter Barton looks at how the British public have generally been told a one-sided, prejudiced version of events in WWI, examining German narratives to present a very different, shocking story.

Friday, September 28: The Great War Then and Now

Authors Alexandra Churchill, Andrew Holmes and Jonny Dyer discuss their joint WWI centenary books, Over Land and Sea, Somme – 141 Days, 141 Lives and Passchendaele – 103 Days in Hell, relating some of the stories they uncovered and the challenges they faced.

Wednesday, October 3: From Officers’ Training Corps to Officer Cadet Battalions

Battlefield guide and author Charles Fair describes how the training of junior officers evolved, starting from an ad hoc approach to the Officer Cadet Battalions of 1916-19.

Monday, October 15: The Hard Road to Victory – The Tank Corps in 1918

Geoffrey Vesey Holt MBE, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Tank Regiment, reveals the important role tanks played in the allied victory through the experiences of Tank Corps troops.

Thursday, October 18: Douglas Haig

Peter Hart, writer and oral historian for the Imperial War Museum, looks at the role of the controversial commanding officer.

Thursday, October 25: Learning Curve? Development of the British Expeditionary Force at battalion level

John Sheehan, lecturer and Western Front tour guide, describes the transformation of the 1/5th West Yorks from ‘Saturday Night Soldiers’ into a battle-hardened unit as a microcosm of the wider professionalisation of the British Army.

Wednesday, November 7: Sevastopol’s Wars – Crimea from Potemkin to Putin

Major General Mungo Melvin, Director of the Land Warfare Centre from 2002-04, Director of Operational Capability 2004-06 and General Officer Commanding of the United Kingdom Support Command in Germany from 2006-09, discusses the military history of the Crimea.

Historian Taff Gillingham challenges perceptions about the British contribution to the ‘war to end all wars’.

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