The Widening of the First World War conference 2015

2nd - 7th August 2015                                                               Patron The Dowager Countess, Lady Haig


Following on from the very successful 2014 “First World War in Retrospect Conference” Dr Peter Liddle and Colonel Roberts have again come together to present the 2015 conference.

Customer feedback from one of our British delegates attending in 2014 included I have rarely attended a conference that has been run with such efficiency or been so thought provoking and stimulating and I am hoping that you will be able to run a similar event in 2015”. The response from our delegate from Texas included I have fond memories of the conference and of Weetwood Hall and not surprisingly they seem to be inseparable. Perhaps the most abiding was the fellowship of the delegates among each other and also with the speakers and conference organisers.”

Summary of what is included in the proposed 2015 conference:

  • A conference led by Dr Peter Liddle and Colonel Roberts along with presentations by 18 renowned speakers on a range of topics surrounding the theme of the 2015 conference
  • Five night’s accommodation in two styles of en-suite bedrooms.
  • Four days conferencing and a half day welcoming delegate feedback
  • All meals including 5 dinners/breakfast, 4 lunches, all conference tea/coffee refreshment breaks, pre-dinner drinks reception and wine with dinner each evening where applicable for resident and non resident delegates
  •  All events and excursions
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi and free car parking

Conference synopsis


The Ottoman Empire may now seem to take centre stage but the demands of the Western Front remained insatiable. A campaign to defeat the Turks at the Dardanelles and then remove them from the war was launched with high expectations, given the frustration of all endeavor on the Western Front, but no such success was won. Against the same adversary, a force was sent to Mesopotamia to secure Britain's oil supply and here initial gains were dangerously over-extended, the prelude to disaster the following year. Meanwhile from March to September on the Western Front, British and French offensives and a major German attack employing the new weapon, poison gas, simply reaffirmed to High Command the primacy of the struggle in France. Into an increasingly polarised debate over this, the divisive issue of the competence and co-ordination of British and French High Command seriously affected concerted political/military direction of the war effort.

1915 was a year which offered little prospect of success for the Allies but endless fascination for the student today. Was British military leadership inept, employing unimaginative, provenly unsuccessful tactics time and again? The offensives on the Western Front and on the Gallipoli Peninsula are often quoted as prime examples of this, so many months before the claimed notoriety of the Somme. Is this a fair assessment or do such charges fail properly to understand the nature of the problem facing a High Command inexorably committed to attack?

We shall certainly be looking at this issue and though we have chosen to be Anglo-centric in our considerations, this will not exclusively be the case because we shall have Sir Ian Kershaw examining the lasting impact of the Great War on Adolf Hitler.

Further topics selected include the Great War and its challenges to Medicine, Surgery and care for wounded in the Field; the support that women gave to servicemen; Faith and war experience; Bereavement and coping with loss; the Indian Army with particular reference to the campaign in Mesopotamia; the town of Halifax in West Yorkshire gearing itself up for war; Gallantry and the case of Arthur Pollard VC; Propaganda; Humor; Sex, the citizen and the soldier; and the locations, buildings, monuments and vestigial industrial heritage of the Great War in the United Kingdom today. Surely we have here a range of topics to whet the interest of all who share our commitment of learning more about the Great War.

This conference is currently under development. More information will follow shortly.


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