MHM‘s Centenary Season continues with a selection of specialist military history events. From an in-depth look at the music of the First World War to a new exhibition on the role of hospital and troop ships, there is plenty coming up to keep the history enthusiast busy.
DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY/IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM NORTH
Conference on Internment during the First World War: A Mass Global Phenomenon
Although civilian internment has become associated with the Second World War in popular memory, it has a longer history. The turning point in this history occurred during the First World War when, in the interests of ‘security’ in a situation of total war, the internment of ‘enemy aliens’ became part of state policy for the belligerent states, resulting in the incarceration, displacement, and even murder of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. This pioneering international Conference on internment during the First World War brings together experts from throughout the world to investigate the importance of the conflict for the history of civilian incarceration. The speakers will tackle both government policy and, just as importantly, its impact upon the lives of those individuals who spent time behind barbed wire. The conference is open to all those interested in this neglected aspect of the history of the Great War on a global scale.
TEL: 0116 207 8681
OPENING TIMES: 13-14 May 2015
WAR MUSIC: NOTES FROM THE FIRST WORLD WAR
In the First World War music was heard on the battlefield, in concert halls, in the camps, and in churches. Music reflected and affected all the emotions of war with everything from requiems to rousing choruses. Marking the First World War centenary, this exhibition takes a broad look at the relationship between music and war against the background of radical musical change.
Objects on display include a wind-up trench gramophone, atenor horncamouflaged with black paint to stop it glinting at the enemy, a burnt-out harmonica, and soldiers’ song-books. You can also view original film footage of musical episodes amid the conflict, featuring British, German, French and Chinese musicians. ‘War Music’ also explores the Academy’s own story during the War: discover how students and alumni fared once they’d enlisted and left London far behind.
TEL: 020 7873 7443
OPENING TIMES: Open now until 31 October 2015. Open weekdays 11.30am-5.30pm and Saturdays 12pm-4pm
THE WELLINGTON TRUST
The Wellington Trust is continuing with its exhibition to help inform and educate on the role of hospital and troop Ships in WWI. The war was world wide, although many people only seem aware of the horrors of the Western front. Without these Merchant ships, mostly taken up from trade by the Government, we could not have fought the war, let alone returned all those who were wounded back to their homeland, be that in Britain, India , ANZ, or elsewhere.
1/7th of the Allied troops in France came from India, 140,000 labourers were transported from China to dig trenches, carry ammunition, recover bodies from No-Mans-Land etc. In addition to the British troops going to France, Gallipoli, and Mesopotamia, there were millions of horses to be shipped. Nine hospital ships were sunk by mine or torpedo. This spring we especially commemorate the role of the troop and hospital ships in the Gallipoli Campaign, which was the first major joint amphibious landing undertaken by the British, French, and ANZAC Armies. There were no field hospitals and all the wounded had to be evacuated to a hospital ship. Visit our free exhibition to learn more or help with your research.
TEL: 020 7836 8179
OPENING TIMES: Sundays and Mondays 1 March-1 June 2015. 11am-5pm
WIDENING OF THE WAR: PROBLEMS WITHOUT ANSWERS 2015 WWI CONFERENCE
2014 may have marked 100 years since the First World War, but commemorations continue into the New Year around the country and all over the world. At Weetwood Hall in Leeds this August, the focus is again on this most significant milestone in world history, offering new perspectives on a large number of fascinating WWI issues.
What is on the agenda for 2015? If you’re considering attending this year’s conference, you can expect a packed schedule of presentations from no less than 18 renowned speakers. Big names include: Dr John Bourne from the University of Wolverhampton presenting on ‘The Widening War: Britain and the Ottoman Empire’, Professor Gary Sheffield, also from the University of Wolverhampton, presenting on the topic of ‘The War within the war: Politicians and Generals’, and Sir Ian Kershaw from the University of Sheffield speaking about ‘The lasting impact of the Great War on Adolf Hitler’.
TEL: 0113 230 6000
OPENING TIMES: Monday 2 August-Friday 7 August 2015
To see this article as it appeared in issue 55 of Military History Monthly, click here.