A new perspective on the First World War

Published: 14 April 2014 at 11:18

Anglia Ruskin’s Labour History Research Unit to hold conference to mark centenary

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New research about the Labour Party and wider labour movement during the First World War will be discussed during a one-day conference at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge on Saturday, 3 May.

The conference, organised by the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin, will include discussions of Labour’s reaction to the start of war in 1914, individual snapshots of trade union activity in towns and cities across the UK, experiences from hospitals and factories, and how the war was seen from the trenches and the home front.

The morning session focuses on ‘Culture, education and the notion of sacrifice during the war’ followed by ‘London and the Great War’.  The afternoon concentrates on ‘Women and the Great War’, ‘The homefront outside London’ and ‘Labour Party ideology’.  

The speakers include Dr Deborah Thom (Fellow in History at Robinson College, University of Cambridge) and Professor Jerry White (Professor in History at Birkbeck, University of London).

Dr Richard Carr, Lecturer in History at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“The decision to send people to war is never an easy one.  As modern conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam show, it can also be a deeply controversial one.
“The First World War forms the twentieth century’s ultimate test of both these issues.  This conference will explore the reaction to the conflict amongst ordinary British people and Labour Party activists across the country.
“Whether interested in the key role played by women in the victory of 1918 or the arguments amongst leading politicians of the day, this conference will shed some new light on one of the most climactic events in British history.”

The conference costs £12 to attend (includes buffet lunch) and runs from 9am until 6pm.  For further information, please contact Richard Carr at richard.carr@anglia.ac.uk and to register visit www.anglia.ac.uk/labourww1