Saturday 15th September
Richard van Emden will be the guest speaker for the lecture series.
Richard has been interested in the Great War since his teens and has visited the battlefields every year since 1985. After graduating
he trained as a journalist; he has since been researcher, historical consultant, producer and director of television programmes. He co-directed BBC4’s ‘Shooting the War’, and earlier this year appeared on Channel Four’s ‘War Horse: the Real Story’.
Richard has interviewed 270 veterans of the First World War, and edited the memoirs of several, the best known being Harry Patch, the last veteran of the trenches and a great personal friend. Among his other books are bestsellers ‘Britain’s Boy Soldiers’, and ‘Tommy’s Ark, Soldiers and their Animals in the Great War’. His latest book, ‘The Quick and the Dead’ was published last November.
THE TALK - THE QUICK AND THE DEAD
In no conflict, before or since, have so many British soldiers marched off to war, never to be seen again. They lay where they fell until buried in a military cemetery; as many as half in graves known only unto God. Many disappeared completely, leaving only names on great monuments dedicated to the missing. They left distraught families for whom closure took not years but decades, and for some, a lifetime.
This is the story of those who are commonly forgotten when the fallen are remembered. Through the stories, drawn from dozens of interviews, plus private diaries and unpublished letters written by the soldiers to their families back home, Richard tells the story of not just what became of our grandfathers, but what became of relatives at home, and how their experiences influenced the generations they left behind.