In this event in our autumn programme, Bristol’s cultural links to WW1 are explored through the eyes of asylum seekers and refugees which defy the official narrative and glorification of ‘The Great War’. The impact of WW1 and its links to contemporary conflict are examined through the creation of digital stories which visibly express the real issues of displacement, identity and misery still felt today by Bristol’s residents.
Echoes of the ‘Great War’: Imperialism, displacement and migration
As part of our programme of autumn events this is a talk presented by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) as part of their Arming All Sides project
World War One: Arming All Sides Date: Wednesday 29th October Time: 7.30pm Venue: Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market St, Bristol, BS2 0EZ
Map: http://www.hydrabooks.org/location/ Price: Donation
With: The Arming All Sides project
After the First World War many believed the arms trade to be a primary cause of war. The unprecedented scale of death and destruction wrought by modern weaponry led a majority of people to support disarmament and international conciliation. The Arming All Sides project questions what role the arms trade played before, during and after the war, what opposition was mounted to the trade and how the war affected what people thought about making and selling armaments. Join us to explore how the arms trade worked at the time of WW1, and to find out about modern opportunities for action against the arms trade.
On August 4th 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. On August 2nd, Bristol Dockers’ Union held a mass meeting on the dockside to debate whether Britain should go to war. They voted unanimously against war. This was one of many anti-war meetings and demonstrations across the country.
The planned commemorations of the outbreak of war will ignore the voices of the many people who spoke out against war a hundred years ago. Rather than people being united in wanting to attack Germany, a debate raged as to whether or not Britain should go to war.
Wednesday 11th June 2014 6pm – 7:30pm, Free Event at Foyles bookshop, Cabot Circus
Poetry by Isaac Rosenberg, and other modern Bristol poets. This event, organised by Bristol Quakers, introduces the writing of Isaac Rosenberg, Bristol’s war poet. Isaac Rosenberg was born in Redcliffe, Bristol in 1890 into a working-class, Jewish family. He hated the idea of killing, but when he heard that his mother would be able to claim a separation allowance he enlisted, joining the 12th Suffolk Regiment, a Bantam Battalion for men less than 5’ 3’’ in height.
During his 21 months in the trenches he wrote some remarkable and powerful poetry. In ‘The Great War and Modern Memory’, Paul Fussell’s landmark study of the literature of the First World War, Fussell identifies Rosenberg’s “Break of Day in the Trenches” as “the greatest poem of the war.”
Issac Rosenberg was killed near Arras, France, on 1 April 1918, aged 27. He was among 16 Great War poets commemorated on a slate stone unveiled in Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner in 1985.
The event is free, and all are welcome. No booking required. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further information
In 1918, Avonmouth was the centre of Britain’s chemical warfare industry with two factories making & filling shells with deadly mustard gas. The factories employed hundreds of local women & girls. There were hundreds of accidents, nearly 3,000 casualties & several deaths.
‘Gas Girls’ tells the untold story of the women who worked in the factories. The show was researched & devised by 20 local people and directed by ACTA directors, Neil Beddow & Ingrid Jones.
June Tour dates.
10,11 & 12 June Avonmouth Community Centre @ 7pm. 16 June Wickham Theatre (UoB) Cantocks Close, Woodland Road @ 7pm. 21 June Withywood Community Centre 3pm and 7pm. 24 June Orchard School, Horfield @ 7pm.
A screening at the Watershed on Saturday May 10th of a film made for TV documenting a remarkable venture – a re-enactment of the oral history of the impact of the First World War on the people of Midsomer Norton and Radstock, performed by their descendants. This award-winning drama/documentary features war veteran Harry Patch, is narrated by Paul McGann, produced by Lee Cox and directed by Colin Thomas. Colin Thomas will introduce the screening
As part of the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, Bristol Radical History Group is putting on two talks on World War 1. Details below – talks are in the Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market St, Bristol, BS2 0EZ from 4.00pm to 4.30pm on 26th March
a) Roger Ball (Bristol Radical History Group) – Shirkers, Skulkers, Deserters and the ‘Live and Let Live’ Strategy: Everyday Resistance to Combat on the Western Front in World War 1
Fraternisation between opposing armed forces on the Western front on Christmas Day 1914 is part of the British collective memory; sold to us a momentary ‘miracle’ involving a few hundred troops. Of far more interest are the massive scale and crucially the context for these events. The everyday ‘hidden’ resistance of troops on both sides to the conflict ranged from avoiding the front-line by numerous ‘fraudulent’ means through to indirect and direct cooperation between supposed enemies in the trenches. Various forms of these subversive behaviours lasted throughout the war despite the attempts of the ‘brass’ on both sides to suppress them. So come and find out why ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ could have been a lot funnier and how Tommy and Fritz put their ‘cunning plans from the University of Cunning’ into action.
Colin Thomas (film-maker) – Freedom of Soul: Bristol and opposition to the First World War
Two weeks before the outbreak of the First World War, Bristol dockers voted for Britain maintaining neutrality and, although their union’s leadership wavered, the local Independent Labour Party kept up its opposition to the war to the bitter end. When many of its local male activists were sent to prison, women members continued to leaflet the case against the slaughter. Includes extracts from television programmes.
Speakers: Neil Faulkner (World War 1 historian and author of ‘No Glory In War’) plus others.
Date: Wednesday 26th March Time: 7.30pm Venue: Malcolm X Centre,141 City Rd, Bristol BS2 8YH Map: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=BS2+8YH&hnear=Bristol+BS2+8YH,+United+Kingdom&gl=uk&t=m&z=16 Flyer: http://network23.org/realww1/files/2014/03/26th-March-2014-Flyer.jpg Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1cq3uWb Presented by ‘Remembering The Real World War 1‘ – Bristol’s campaign to commemorate the real World War 1 – all welcome. Bristol Stop The War Coalition is part of Remembering the Real World War 1. For more information email email@example.com Website: http://network23.org/realww1 Neil Faulkner is the author of ‘No Glory: The Real History Of The First World War‘. He works as a writer, lecturer, excavator, and occasional broadcaster (including Time Team and Timewatch) . He is the Editor of Military History Monthly. This meeting represents an opportunity to hear different views about the war and discuss how we can ensure that the real World War 1 is remembered by people across the city. How the war is remembered is as much about the future as the past – while past conflict remains discredited, future foreign military interventions and occupations will remain difficult to sell to the public. For the majority of people in all the countries involved, directly or indirectly, World War 1 was one of the greatest disasters of the twentieth century. In this centenary year of the start of the war we have been promised debate in the media about the causes and effects of the war. So far the views expressed on the BBC have ranged from those who think that the war was essential to defend the British Empire (Max Hastings) through to those who argue that the British Empire was undermined by Britain’s involvement in the war (Niall Ferguson). While Jeremy Paxman has been able to refer to conscientious objectors as ‘cranks’. No space has been found for the voices of those who at the time argued against war on a principled basis. Nor those who today argue that it was a war fought for the interests of the European ruling elites whose price was paid by ordinary people across the world. And that empire, militarism and nationalism always lead to bloodshed and disaster. We have heard nothing of the multitude of both individual and mass forms of resistance to the war on all sides of the national divides being uncovered by radical historians. If you aren’t able to get to the meeting but want to get involved or know interesting local stories about World War 1 please get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite:http://network23.org/realww1
Redland Quaker Meeting House, 126 Hampton Road, Bristol, BS6 6JE from 17-23 March
Central Library Foyer, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TL , 24 March to 16 April
In World War 1, Quaker Relief Work undertook overseas work of relief, including medical work in France.
The Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU) was a volunteer ambulance service, founded by individual members of the British Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), in line with their Peace Testimony. The FAU operated from 1914–1919, 1939–1946 and 1946–1959 in 25 different countries around the world. It was independent of the Quakers’ organisation and chiefly staffed by registered conscientious objectors.