The Turning Point
A study tour of the writing and writers of the Battle of the Somme
15-18 October 2016
“Between the opulent Edwardian years and the 1920s the First World War opens like a gap in time. England after the war was a different place; the arts were different; history was different; sex, society, class were all different”. Whilst most who have studied the events of 1914-18 would agree with Samuel Hynes, many would under- stand that the most significant stimulus of change can be narrowed down to the Bat- tle of the Somme which dominated the British sector of the Western Front during the summer of 1916.
Philip Gibbs, who had covered the war for the Daily Chronicle, writing about the Somme in 1919 said, “Modern civilization was wrecked on those fire-blasted fields, though they led to what we called ‘victory’. More died there than the flower of our youth and German manhood. The old order of the world died there, because many men who came alive out of that conflict were changed, and vowed not to tolerate a system of thought which had led up to such a monstrous massacre of human beings who prayed to the same God”.
The Somme saw the deployment of Kitchener’s volunteer army. The men who had rushed to the colours in the summer of 1914 were put to the ultimate test and whilst no one could doubt their bravery it proved to be an army ‘two years in the making and ten minutes in the killing’. At the end of the first day, July 1st, almost 60,000 Brit- ish men lay dead, dying or wounded and with them died the idealism, not only of the war itself but of society in general.
It was, in every sense, the turning point that was to have a massive impact on British society. Our tour aims to examine how the events surrounding this bloody period of the war were interpreted by the poets and writers of the day and by those who have reflected on it since.
The group will travel by luxury air-conditioned coach and will be based in a 3* hotel in Arras, the cost will include most meals & museum entry fees.
Full details of the tour will be available in the autumn of 2015.
To register your interest please email Andy Thompson at: email@example.com
IRON HONEY GOLD: Isaac Rosenberg – An Evening of Words and Music
Sunday 26 April from 7pm – 9pm at The LJS
Presentations of Isaac Rosenberg’s poems and letters
Featuring Michael Rosen, Elaine Feinstein, Lee Montague, Philip Bell, Simon Haynes and Jean Moorcraft Wilson
Click Here for more information
The Times & The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Wilfred Owen Poetry & Music Of The Great War
11th October at Cheltenham College Chapel.
, click here to book online or call 0844 8808094
Leonard Pearcey and Sophie Ward will be telling the Edith Cavell story in Bath Abbey on 30th October 2014.
Full details of a WW1 Commemoration, The Cool Web: A Robert Graves Oratorio and the Edith Cavell story in Bath Abbey on October 30th 2014. Full details on www.robertgravesoratorio.co.uk.
I am organising a Sixth Form Conference on ‘Poetry of the First World War’ at Haileybury College on Friday the 17th of October.
Adrian Barlow and Simon Armitage are confirmed as keynote speakers. There will be a panel of papers by pupils and a roundtable discussion involving teachers. There’s also a poster competition for pupils to present their research into a WW1 Poetry topic.
Places at the conference are free. There is a link to information about the conference on the school’s website http://www.haileybury.com/news/haileyburys-first-world-war-trench-open-to-school-visits-as-part-of-centenary-commemorations
British Library free foyer exhibition Enduring War: Grief Grit and Humour on until 12 October.
It includes key war poet manuscripts from Binyon, (In Memoriam) Owen (the poetry is in the pity &c), Sassoon, (his protest letter) Rosenberg (letter to Gordon Bottomley)- would interest all WPA members.
Located at the Jewish Museum Raymond Burton House 129-131 Albert Street, NW1 7NB
For more information: http://www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/ until 10 August -(entry fee) it includes a section on Isaac Rosenberg.
The very first Winchester Poetry Festival takes places on Friday 12th, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September 2014. There is a full programme of events including workshops, close readings and main readings featuring Michael Longley, Edna Longley, Patience Aqbabi, Jackie Kay, Mike Brearley and a host of well-known and lesser-known poets. It promises to be a marvellous weekend of poetry. The list of events and details on how to book are on the website: