Changing Perceptions? The Great War and Public Memory

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


Tayforth O.T.C. Remembrance Lecture: University of Dundee historian Dr Derek Patrick will this week deliver a special Remembrance Lecture to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
'Changing Perceptions? The Great War and Public Memory' takes place at 6pm on Friday, 7th November at the University’s Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill. The event is being jointly hosted by the University and Tayforth Universities Officers Training Corps (UOTC).
At a time of commemoration, the lecture will enable the University and UOTC remember that time together. In doing so, they will celebrate their relationship and that of the City of Dundee and the Armed Forces as a whole.
Dr Patrick said, “The First World War is often misunderstood. For many it remains an unmitigated disaster, a war of attrition that cost the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers in ill-conceived and poorly executed offensives.
“The 100th anniversary of the war has drawn attention to many excellent works that have enhanced our understanding of the conflict, but there is still a need to counter the many misconceptions of the ‘lions led by donkeys’ approach, popularised by the likes of Alan Clark, Joan Littlewood’s ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’, and ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’, that remain rooted in the nation’s collective memory.
“The lecture will explore the origins of this view, and how our understanding of the Great War has been shaped by various factors since its conclusion in 1918. Considering the opinions of contemporaries, with a focus on Dundee, I will ask whether the war as popularly remembered is consistent with that of those who experienced it.”
Dr Patrick co-founded the Great War Dundee (GWD) Commemorative Project with his colleague Dr Billy Kenefick. Together with their partner groups, they are coordinating the city-wide approach to commemorating the conflict. Their research has led to startling discoveries about Dundee’s contribution to the war effort as well as a greater understanding of how this was influenced by contemporary socio-economic conditions and the conflict’s legacy on the shores of the Tay.
Colonel Lindsay, Commanding Officer of the UOTC, said, “We are delighted to be part of this event which will remember Dundee’s contribution to the First World War and the conflict’s impact on the city. This event also gives us a welcome opportunity to mark the links between the UOTC, Dundee University and the City as a whole a hundred years on from the outbreak of the War.”
'Changing Perceptions? The Great War and Public Memory' takes place at 6pm on Friday, 7th November at the Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill. Admission is free and open to all, and the event will be followed by a drinks reception.
Period7 Nov 2014
Held atUniversity of Dundee, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionRegional