Armistice Centenary Programme

Armistice Centenary Programme

Saturday 10th November 2018

Programme of talks

Please be seated by start time for each talk as a courtesy to our speakers who have all given freely of their time and to allow smooth running.


BALLROOM
Introduction to the Day - Professor John Derry
09.45 - 09.55 am

3.30 - 4.15 pm
BALLROOM
Round Table Discussion
The Centenary of the Great War 2014 - 2018
What have we learned?
A discussion with audience participation to be chaired by Professor John Derry


10.00 - 10.45 am
TYNE ROOM
Silvie Fisch - Hunting the Hun - Anti-German sentiment and action on Tyneside
ROOM A (Green Room)
Professor John Derry - From Crisis to Victory - The Last 100 days
The German offensive of March 1918 was meant to win the war for Germany. With the advantage of hindsight it is possible to see that it was a desperate gamble, which eventually allowed the allies to defeat the German army in the field. What were the objectives open to Ludendorff? Did he control the offensive? The British and French came to develop sophisticated forms of all-arms co-operation and the allies were able to integrate a varied pattern of limited offensives by the various armies on the western front. The collapse of German morale can be seen in the enormous numbers of prisoners taken by the allies, in the mutinies in the High Seas Fleet, and the unrest in several German cities, and the final collapse of Germany’s political system.
ROOM B (adjacent Green Room)
Dr Ian Buxton - Tyneside Shipbuilding and the Great War
Ian’s talk will include both naval and merchant ships.


11.00 - 11.45 am
TYNE ROOM
Marie Caffrey - The Soldiers Stories - Fascinating revelations from our project research
Project researcher Marie Caffrey share a personal look at the remarkable tales of some of the local men who fought and died in the Great War. Their stories have been gathered and researched, to be recorded on the Project database, beginning with the former Borough of Tynemouth and subsequently what is now North Tyneside.
ROOM A
Tony Ball - Their Valour all Untold - The 149th (Northumbrian) Brigade in the Great War
The 149th Brigade, composed of Territorial Force units from Hexham, Walker, Newcastle and Alnwick, was one of three all Northumberland Fusiliers’ brigades. The talk looks at the origins of the Territorial Force in 1908 and follows the Brigade from its baptism of fire at the battle of Ypres 1915 through the battles of the Somme 1916, Arras 1917, Ypres 1917, Somme 1918 and the Lys to the last stand at Pontavert during the battle of the Aisne in May 1918.
ROOM B
Alastair Fraser - The Australian Perspective - The 'Poms' and the Great War
Australian support for Great Britain's entry into the Great War was almost entirely unanimous but as the war went on serious rifts emerged. This lecture looks how this consensus disintegrated, in particular the disagreements over conscription and its influence on manpower. It will also give a brief survey of the Australian military experience in France and the Middle East and conclude with the story of one soldier of 33rd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, recovered from the Messines battlefield in 2008.


1.30 - 2.15 pm
TYNE ROOM
Marie Caffrey - The Soldiers Stories - Fascinating revelations from our project research
ROOM A
Dr Ann-Marie Einhaus - The Haunting Landscapes of the Western Front in Literature
First World War landscape paintings, such as Paul Nash's 'The Menin Road' (1919), are some of the most powerful portrayals of the devastating effect of the First World War on the environment. But as one might expect, visual artists were not the only eyewitnesses to respond in powerful ways to what they saw on the Western Front. This talk takes Nash’s famous paintings as a starting point to explore engagement with the landscapes of war in the work of a range of First World War writers, focusing particularly on prose narratives.
ROOM B
Dr James McConnel - The Cult of the Kilt in the British and Dominion Armies
By comparison with the early nineteenth century when the aesthetics of military display reached a high point in the modern period, the British Army was increasingly alive to the benefits of uniformity and camouflage by 1900. The exception to this was the kilt, which came to function not only as a conspicuous marker of the most feted of all Victorian soldiers (the Highlander), but also as a symbol of martiality more generally, to the extent that it was widely adopted among the emerging armed forces of the British Empire. As this talk explores, the survival of the kilt was far from inevitable, with, on the one hand, a significant cultural and literary effort being expended in maintaining the myth of the Scottish martial tradition with which it was associated, and, on the other, persistent criticism of its cost and poor performance in modern war conditions.


2.30 - 3.15 pm
TYNE ROOM
Ian McArdle - Armistice and Aftermath - Germany's experience
This talk examines the events leading up to the Armistice and attempts to convey what this traumatic experience represented for the ordinary German soldier, for whom one naturally feels sympathy and respect. The talk continues by describing the soldiers' return to a defeated country desperately short of fuel and food and in the grip of revolution. Some soldiers succeeded in adapting to these new, harsh conditions; others did not.
ROOM A
Dr Ann-Marie Einhaus - The Haunting Landscapes of the Western Front in Literature
ROOM B
John Sadler - Fall of Eagles - the RAF, formation and transition to strategic force.
The last year of the Great War witness fittingly both the creation of the Royal Air Force and the coming of age of air-power as a strategic reality. The Homeric age of individual fighter aces was subsumed into mass aerial warfare, for the British this was manifested as all arms co-ordination with the RAF playing a significant role in the break-in at Amiens that August and the emergence of long range strategic bombing, goodbye von Richthofen, hello Blitzkrieg.