In 2014 Britain embarked on four years of commemorative activity to mark the centenary of the Great War. This talk considers what the past four years tell us about the meanings of this conflict in 21st century Britain, where, far from being universally established and agreed upon, symbols of remembrance such as the British Legion poppy are contested and fought over, demonstrating the political nature of remembrance. Drawing on a range of material, including political debates, commemorative activities and a Directive on individual understandings of the Great War, commissioned by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, the talk will discuss both the meanings of the Great War in 21st century Britain, and what these might tell us about the country today.
Professor Lucy Noakes (University of Essex)
Venue: Reading Room, In Flanders Fields Research Centre, Sint Maartensplein 3, 8900 Ieper
This event is part of the First World War Seminar Series organised by In Flanders Fields Museum and Gateways to the First World War. All seminars are free and open to all. The full seminar programme is published here.
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Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 19 September 2004