Talks and Events

*NOTE A public lecture to be given by Professor Heather Jones UCL was unfortunately cancelled to the health crisis in March 2020. A 50 minute (approx) illustrated talk can be viewed in the ‘POW‘ section of this website.

The regular season of monthly talks at The Low Lights Tavern, Brewhouse Bank, North Shields was concluded in October 2018.


To mark the centenary of the Armistice which, in November 1918, brought to an end four years of bitter conflict, the Project presented a week of public events at the Memorial Hall, 10 Frank Street, Wallsend, NE28 6RN. Illustrating the full scale of our project volunteers work over seven years – 2011 to 2018.

Monday 5th to Saturday 10th November, 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday 11th November 2018, 10 am – 12.30 pm.

Project Display and Exhibition:

A full review and exhibition of the work of the project from 2011 to 2018 with audio-visual presentations, online database, key publications, casualty map and printed materials, plus another chance to see the six large and five smaller exhibitions including: The Somme; Tyneside and the Battle of Jutland; Dominion Geordies; and Geordie Doughboys plus New Exhibition – Women in the war – Tyneside and the armaments industries.

Friday 9th November 2018, 7.30 pm – 11 pm

Concert and Project Review:

Featuring musical entertainment: Tony Corcoran Band and ‘Five Strung Out Group’. A short extract from Death at Dawn (Peter Mortimer). Performed by Cloud Nine Theatre Company. Review of our project volunteers work 2011-2018. Poetry of the war and soldiers’ letters home.

Saturday 10th November, 10 am – 4 pm

Information Day & Programme of Talks:

9.45 am – Introduction to the day – Professor John Derry.

10.00 am onwards. A full programme of short illustrated talks by well-known speakers on a wide range of subjects. A chance during the day to hear up to three talks from a range of speakers. See weapons and militaria display by The Time Bandits. Military and local history book fair, Keel Row Bookshop (North Shields); Tiffin Books (Darlington); Pinwell Books (Wooler) and Westwood Books (Cramlington).

Carville Primary School Choir – telling the story of John Collinson. Shipyard worker from Wallsend to grand opera singer via Australia, The Somme, casualty hospitals and the Royal Academy of Music (London). The first man to record Waltzing Matilda (Vocalian Records 1926).

A series of FREE public talks.
The Low Lights Tavern, Brewhouse Bank, Fish Quay, North Shields.

Programme 2018

All talks start at 7.30pm unless noted otherwise.

Tuesday 23rd October
Alan Fidler – Our Journey’s End

Tuesday 18th September
Ian McArdle The Armistice – A German perspective

There is no talk planned for August

Tuesday 17th July
Prof. John Derry – Ludendorff, Hindenburg and the German Spring Offensive 1918

Tuesday 19th June
Tony Ball – Over Where? The Doughboys are coming

Tuesday 15th May
Alan Fidler – Churchill’s Little Army

Tuesday 17th April
Peter Coppack – The Zeebrugge Raid 23rd April 1918

Tuesday 20th March
Marie Caffrey -The Soldiers Stories – The emotional involvement of a project volunteer.

Tuesday 20th February
Alan Fidler – The British Army and capital punishment 1914 – 1918 “What alternative punishment is there”.

Tuesday 16th January
Alan Fidler – Two Brothers: One War

Programme 2017

All talks start at 7.30pm unless noted otherwise.

There is no talk in December

21st November 2017
Professor Ian Buxton – Tyne built battleships

2pm Friday 10th November 2017
Talk at Old Low Light Heritage Centre, Clifford’s Fort, Fish Quay, North Shields

Alan Fidler – Two Brothers: One War

17th October 2017
Peter Coppack – Portugal’s War

12th September 2017
Dr Anthony Firth – War channels East coast sea lanes inWW1

There is no talk in August

18th July 2017
Dr Dan Jackson – With God on our side: Military chaplains in the Great War

21st June 2017 at 1 pm Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne Westgate Road, NE1 1SE.
Phyllida Shaw – An Artist’s War: The Art and letters of  Morris and Alice Meredith Williams.

20th June 2017 at 2 pm Low Lights Heritage Centre, Clifford’s Fort, Fish Quay, North Shields and 7.30 pm Low Lights Tavern.

13th June 2017 6.30 pm at Northumbria University, City Campus East, New Bridge Street. 
Opposite Manors Metro Station.
Emeritus Professor John Derry – Departing from Tradition: The United States of America’s entry into the Great War, 1917.

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16th May 2017
Peter Coppack – American Flyers at Cramlington.

18th April 2017
Peter Coppack – Japan’s Great War.

21st March 2017
Alan Fidler – America enters the war – 1917.

21st February 2017
Ian McArdle – Edith Cavell A heroine of the Great War.

17th January 2017
Peter Coppack – Italy’s Great War.

Previous Talks from 2016

19th January
Peter Coppack Bomber. The aeroplane, from toy to terror weapon.

16th February 2016
Tony Ball – Gas. Devilry thy name is Germany.

22nd March 2016
Alan Fidler – Picking up the Pieces. Dealing with family loss.

19th April 2016
Ian McArdle – Sarajevo : 1914.

17th May 2016
Peter Coppack – Dogger Bank : Prelude to Jutland

21st June 2016
John Sadler – Calvary on the Somme. Death of a northern generation.

1st June 2016
Peter Coppack – Aspects of Jutland
This talk will be held in the Old Low Light Heritage Centre at 2.30pm

19th July 2016
Ian McArdle – Die schlacht an der Somme. The Somme campaign from the German perspective.

No talk in August

13th September 2016
Colin Hatton (WFA – Stockton) – Railways in the Great War

18th October 2016
June Watson – Pioneers of plastic surgery in WW1
This talk will be held in the Old Low Light Heritage Centre

22nd November 2016
Silvie Fisch – Hunting the Hun Anti-German sentiment on Tyneside in WW1

No talk in December

Previous Talks from 2015

17th November
Janet Brown “Lest we Forget” War Memorials in the North East

27th October
Ian McArdle Shell Shock

22nd September
Peter Coppack Development of the Tank

Monday 24th August – At the Victor Noble Rainbird exhibition, Old Low Light Heritage Centre, Cliffords Fort, Fish Quay, North Shields.
Ian McArdle Shell Shock
(note this talk starts at 11 am – admission £2.00 including Heritage Centre and Rainbird Exhibition).

28th July
Anthea Lang Life on the Home Front

19th May
Ian McArdle Medical Services in the Great War

21st April
Jeff Bennett The War the Artillery knew

10th March
Tony Ball Military Intelligence in the Great War

17th February
Rt. Hon. Alan Campbell MP By ticket only from Low Lights Tavern, Keelrow Bookshop and Project Workroom Linskill.

13th January
Ian McArdle Sarajevo 1914