The Darker Side of the First World War, as part of the Gateways project, was one of my most enjoyable engagements with fellow historians. It was an honour to present my early research into military suicide alongside some of my most admired and respected colleagues in the field.
The research presented here went to on to form the basis of my book chapter on Soldier Suicide in the First World War and my current research into British Military Suicide between 1914 to modern day.
Below is the program for the event:
Gateways to the First World War is pleased to announce the programme for another of its popular study days, on the theme of ‘Darker Sides of the First World War’, to be held at the University of Kent on Friday 30th June 2017.
As the centenary of the First World War rolls on it is right that in 2017 our attention should be focused on the history of military (in)discipline during the conflict. The year 1917 saw the Russian Army collapse, the Italian Army falter and the French Army experience mass mutinies – not to mention what did/did not happen at the infamous Étaples British training camp.
Military discipline will be the subject of the opening keynote session by Dr Tim Bowman (University of Kent) who will talk about ‘Mutinies and remobilization: Armies at War in 1917′.
To compliment the subjects of mutiny and military discipline the theme of ‘Darker Sides’ was chosen to shed light on the work of historians looking at subjects which do not often feature in the public narrative, often due to their grittier and less comfortable nature. Also confirmed for the study day are papers on prostitution, espionage and policing, the drink problem, soldier suicides, collaboration under military occupation and obscene language.
Dr Tim Bowman (University of Kent)
Dr Clare Makepeace (Birkbeck, University of London)
Dr Jim Beach (University of Northampton)
Dr Robert Duncan (St Mary’s University)
Simon Walker (University of Strathclyde)
Professor Sophie de Schaepdrijver (Pennsylvania State University)
Professor Mark Connelly (University of Kent)
09:30 Coffee & Registration
10:00 Welcome & Introduction – Dr Emma Hanna
10:05 Keynote ‘Mutinies and remobilization: Armies at War in 1917’ – Dr Tim Bowman (University of Kent)
11:15 Coffee & Break
11:30 ‘Sex and the Somme: The visits of British soldiers to brothels in France and Flanders’ – Dr Clare Makepeace
Plots, Villains, Detectives, Spies and Prostitutes: Intelligence Policing on the Western Front – Dr Jim Beach (University of Northampton)
13:45 ‘There were too many people who could not be trusted’: Pubs in the First World War – Dr Robert Duncan (St Mary’s University)
Establishing ‘Reasonable Probability’: Dealing with the Suicides of British Soldiers in the First World War – Simon Walker (University of Strathclyde)
15:15 Forms of Collaboration Under Military Occupation – Professor Sophie de Schaepdrijver (Pennsylvania State University)
Notes and Swearies: Obscene Language in Soldier’s Speech and Songs – Professor Mark Connelly (University of Kent)
16:30 Event Ends
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