To mark 100 years since the end of the Home Front during World War One, a special conference will be held at the University of St Andrews next week. To coincide with the conference, a fantastic programme of public events has been launched. It is called The Home Front: The United Kingdom 1914-1918 and is being supported by the Scottish Government and the Department of Culture Media and Sport.
Between 1914 to 1918 life during war-time Britain completely changed. Besides altering the ways in which men and women thought and spoke, the four-year conflict saw rationing, inflation and civilians being targeted for the first time when the Germans attacked Britain. The role of women also changed.
“The sacrifices and efforts made by those who stayed at home will be celebrated” during the three-day academic conference at the university, says host Sir Hew Strachan, Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews.
The military historian added: “The centenary of the First World War has been a massive success, with tremendous public engagement. So far, however, all the commemorative national events have focused on battles.
“The war required the mobilisation of society as a whole, regardless of class, gender or age. The week’s events will highlight what the ‘home front’ – itself a phrase coined during the First World War – achieved in 1914-18, with effects that continue to resonate to this day.”
Next week, a series of community events– including talks, drama, films, music and lectures – will run from Monday (June 18) and until Saturday (June 23). Some of the events are fully booked, but there are still tickets left for others. Here are some highlights of The Home Front programme which are not to be missed:
Public Talk: What does remembrance mean today?
Famous author Sebastian Faulks will be joined by Professor Sir Hew Strachan and Jenny Waldman for this public debate in Buchanan Theatre. The trio will each speak for five minutes before the discussion is opened to the floor. If you wish to book a place at this evening debate, and participate as a speaker or member of the audience, on TUESDAY from 7.30pm-9pm click here.
IWM Films of The Home Front
You are invited to view silent films of contemporary WWI as footage from the archives of the Imperial War Museum will be screened. The films will be introduced by Matthew Lee and will include a live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne, a ‘silent film musician’ who has performed at film festivals all over the world. There are less than 100 tickets left for the screening on THURSDAY 21 June from 8.30pm. Tickets are £5 and available from the Byre Theatre box office by clicking here.
Public Talk: Women at War
‘Women at War’ is a talk by Professor Susan Grayzel about Gender, Place and Experience in First World War Britain. Held on the morning of SATURDAY 23 June at the Buchanan Theatre, from 10am to 11.15am, organisers are hoping it will be a well-attended event. To book click here.
Records of World War One – Show and Tell event
Go along to the Special Collections Napier Reading Room at Richardson Research Library and see some of the surviving documents, books and records from WWI. Turn the pages and get close up with letters sent home from the front, diaries which tell the story of life in Fife during the war, photographs of soldiers and women, and explore the important role played by the University in support of the war effort. This is suitable for families and is a drop-in event on SATURDAY 23 June from 11.30am to 1pm.
*To see the full list of Home Front events, and for booking details, click here. There are also two drop-in exhibitions running all week to coincide with the commemorative community events: Field of Battle Art Exhibition, Mike Shiel (at Upper College Hall, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) and Display of items from the Russell Cawthron (WWI) Collection (in the Main Library, University of St Andrews, Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm).