Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Public Lecture by Richard Van Emden

“Meeting the Enemy: The Human Face of the Great War,” 28 April @ 6.15, CCE 1, Northumbria University

A British soldier walked over to the German front line to deliver newspapers; British women married to Germans became 'enemy aliens' in their own country; a high-ranking British POW discussed his own troops’ heroism with the Kaiser on the battlefield. Just three amazing stories of contact between the opposing sides in the Great War that eminent historian Richard van Emden has unearthed – incidents that show brutality, great humanity, and above all the bizarre nature of a conflict between two nations with long-standing ties of kinship and friendship. In his lecture, Richard Van Emden reveals how contact was maintained on many levels throughout the War, and its stories, sometimes funny, often moving, give us a new perspective on the lives of ordinary men and women caught up in extraordinary events.

From Richard Van Emden’s website:

Richard van Emden has been interested in the Great War since his teens. He interviewed 270 veterans of the conflict and has so far written twelve books on the subject. His latest, The Quick and the Dead: Fallen Soldiers and Their Families, is due out now. His previous books include Britain's Last Tommies, Boy Soldiers of the Great War, All Quiet on the Home Front, Prisoners of the Kaiser and the top five best-selling The Trench. He has visited the Somme and Ypres every year since 1985 and has an expert knowledge of the First World War battlefields. Richard also researches, produces and directs television programmes about both World Wars, including the award-winning Roses of No Man’s Land and Veterans. His most recent television programme Shooting the War, was broadcast on BBC4 (2010), and he has also appeared as an expert on programmes such as The Boy Soldiers of the Great War (Channel 4), and most recently The Real War Horse on the History Channel.

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