University set to host week of World War One commemorations

The week’s highlights include a talk by War Horse author Sir Michael Morpurgo and a panel discussion deliberating ‘What does remembrance mean today?’. Panellists include Professor Sir Hew Strachan of the St Andrews School of IR, 14-18NOW Director Jenny Waldman and Birdsong author Sebastian Faulks.


The University of St Andrews will be hosting a series of events this summer to mark the centenary of the First World War, focusing on the contribution of the ‘Home Front’ to the war efforts.

The events, running from Monday 18 June to Saturday 23 June, are part of a wider programme of commemorations organised by WW100 Scotland.

A series of talks, debates, films and public exhibitions will take place during the week devoted to studying the mobilisation of British society in the war.

The week’s highlights include a public talk by War Horse author Sir Michael Morpurgo on Tuesday 19 June and a panel discussion later that day, deliberating ‘What does remembrance mean today?’. Panellists include Professor Sir Hew Strachan of the St Andrews School of International Relations, Director of the 14-18NOW programme Jenny Waldman and author of World War One novel Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks.

Sir Strachan is an eminent military historian and is host of the week’s events. He said, “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. This is a chance to reflect on the sacrifices and efforts made by those who stayed at home.

“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.”

All events in the programme are open to the public and ticket information can be found on The Home Front website:

Full Events Programme

Monday 18 June

Public Talk: Tayside and the Tay Valley in the First World War
Dr Billy Kenefick (University of Dundee) and Dr Derek Patrick (University of St Andrews)

Tuesday 19 June

Public Talk: Sir Michael Morpurgo

Public Talk/Debate: What does remembrance mean today?
Professor Sir Hew Strachan, Jenny Waldman & Sebastian Faulks

Wednesday 20 June

Lecture: The United Kingdom in 1914
Dr Catriona Pennell (University of Exeter)

Panel 1: Government
The Growth of Cabinet Government – Professor George Peden (University of Stirling)
The Role of the Monarchy – Dr Heather Jones (London School of Economics)
The Defence of the Realm Act and Surveillance – Professor Gerry Rubin (University of Kent)
Local Government, focusing on Essex – Dr Stuart Hallifax (Institute for Government)
The Churches and the State – Dr Edward Madigan (Royal Holloway)

Thursday 21 June

Panel 2: Resources
Coal – Dr Steven Gray (University of Portsmouth)
Iron and Steel – Dr Peter Claughton (University of Exeter)
Forestry – Rob Newman
Fisheries – Dr Robb Robinson (University of Hull)
Agriculture – Professor Keith Grieves (Kingston University)
Science and Outside Expertise – Professor Roy Mcleod (University of Sydney)

Panel 3: People
Labour and the Trades Unions – Professor Chris Wrigley (University of Nottingham)
Conscription and Enlistment – Professor Ian Beckett (University of Kent)
Charitable Work – Dr Peter Grant (City University)
Refugees – Dr Pierre Purseigle (University of Warwick)
Prisoners of War and Internees – Professor Panikos Panayi (De Montfort University)

IWM Films of The Home Front – An evening at the cinema 1918: a screening of contemporary First World War factual films from the archives of the Imperial War Museum with piano accompaniment from Stephen Horne.

Friday 22 June

Panel 4: Production
Munitions – Dr Gerard Charmley
Clothing, Uniforms and Boots – Dr Krisztina Robert (Roehampton University)
Shipbuilding – Dr Hugh Murphy (University of Glasgow)
Railways – Dr Chris Phillips (University of Leeds)
Shipping and Overseas Trade – Professor David Starkey

Panel 5: Social Impacts
Press and Propaganda – Dr David Monger (University of Canterbury, NZ)
Families – Professor Maggie Andrews (University of Worcester)
Crime and Policing – Professor Louise Jackson (University of Edinburgh)
Children – Dr Rosie Kennedy (Goldsmiths)
Food – Dr Mary Cox (University of Oxford)
War Finance – Dr Jonathan Boff (University of Birmingham)

Closing Lecture: The United Kingdom in 1919
Professor Martin Daunton (University of Cambridge)

Saturday 23 June Community Day

Public Talk: Women and The War
Professor Susan Grayzel (Utah State University)

Workshops open to the public in St Andrews University Library and with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Monday 18 – Friday 22 June

Fields of Battle Art Exhibition
Mike Shiel


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