Final keynote announced!

With just one week to go before ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’ gets underway, we are delighted to announce the identity of our final keynote speakers!

The children of Sighthill Primary School have been working with the Young People’s Hub partnership project, and discovering the stories contained within the War Poets Collection at Edinburgh Napier University. On Friday morning, children from the school will be showcasing their work with the War Poets Collection and talking about their experiences of the First World War’s centenary.

To join them (and us!) at the conference, please make sure you register for your tickets as soon as possible. A very limited number of tickets remain, and the final day for registration will be Friday 21 June. To register, please follow the link below:,-present,-and-future



‘Strange Meeting(s): Craiglockhart, Poetry and the Cultural Memory of the Great War’

We are delighted to share the details of the keynote address taking place at ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’. Dr Jane Potter, Oxford Brookes University, will draw upon her expertise to consider the special place that our conference location occupies within the cultural memory of the First World War. An abstract for Dr Potter’s address, entitled ‘Strange Meeting(s): Craiglockhart, Poetry and the Cultural Memory of the Great War’, is as follows:


Siegfried Sassoon arrived at Craiglockhart War Hospital on 23 July 1917, having been sent to ‘Dottyville’, as he called it, to avoid a court-martial in the wake of his outspoken public statement against the War. He was soon visited by an admirer of his poetry, a neurasthenic second lieutenant who had arrived a few weeks earlier fresh from the horrors of the Western Front: Wilfred Owen.  Under the care of Captain Arthur Brock RAMC, and his ergotherapy or work-cure, and with Sassoon’s advice, Owen learned to channel his experiences and memories of battle into poems that have come to define the Great War experience.  This talk reflects on the legacy of these ‘strange meetings’ at Craiglockhart and the ways in which the poetry of Owen and Sassoon not only remains central to the cultural memory of 1914-18, but has become the archetype for the representation of war itself.


Limited tickets for the conference are still available. For further details, to view the full programme, and to book your place, please visit the link below:,-present,-and-future

The First World War: Past, Present, and Future – tickets now on sale

Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh Napier University, 27 and 28 June 2019.

A limited number of tickets are on sale now for anyone wishing to attend the First World War Network’s upcoming conference, which will consider the past, present, and future of First World War studies. Both two-day and individual day tickets are available for the conference, all of which include lunch and refreshment breaks. Tickets are available from our web store, hosted by the University of Hertfordshire, via the link below:,-present,-and-future

Over the course of two days a combination of internationally acclaimed scholars, early career and postgraduate researchers at the cutting edge of academic scholarship, representatives of heritage agencies, museums, and community groups, and those working across the breadth of First World War-related subjects will come together to celebrate the first one hundred years of First World War history, to discuss the latest work in the field, and to consider the future of the subject within the poignant setting of the former Craiglockhart War Hospital.

The conference programme, which can be viewed in full by clicking this link, comprises academic panels on a wide variety of subjects, a keynote paper by Dr Jane Potter (Oxford Brookes University), a special consideration of work undertaken with young people during the centenary, a round table discussion featuring representatives from academia, the museum sector, and the battlefield tourism industry, and a free workshop on the creation of digital history projects. Those arriving on Wednesday evening are also cordially invited to join us at a special public lecture by Dr Nigel Hunt (University of Nottingham). For further details and to register for Dr Hunt’s talk, see the link below:

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Free public lecture: Edinburgh Napier University

Ahead of our upcoming conference, join us at the site of the former World War One Craiglockhart Military Hospital for a very special free public lecture about the pioneering work of Dr W.H.R. Rivers, delivered by Dr Nigel Hunt (University of Nottingham).

Narratives and stress: WHR Rivers role in helping understand the importance of story in psychology

The narrative approach – understanding stories – in psychology has become, over the last few decades, very popular. It helps us understand how people’s minds work and gives us tools for helping those who have been through stressful and traumatic events. Dr Rivers worked at Craiglockhart Military Hospital during World War One, trying to understand and treat the men who were sent there as ‘shell shock’ or ‘neurasthenic’ cases from the trenches of the war. His approach became widely known through the novels of Pat Barker, but his influence on psychology (and other disciplines) cuts across many fields. This talk focuses on how Rivers’ work can inform our understanding of the importance of stories in resolving war trauma, even today.

To register for this event, please follow the link below:

Doors open at 18:15, and a wine reception will follow the lecture.

Please contact for further information.

Conference update: Friday afternoon workshop

Preparations are ongoing for our upcoming conference at Edinburgh Napier University, and we are delighted to share details of a workshop taking place on Friday afternoon, to which all our delegates are warmly invited. Ian Isherwood, R.C. Miessler, and Amy Lucadamo from Gettysburg College will be sharing their experiences of working on a digital project linked to the First World War letters of Hugh John Chevallier Peirs (better known as Jack). You can visit the website by following the link below:

In ‘The Great War and the Digital Humanities: Creating a project and building a team’, they will provide attendees with insights into the creation of a digital history project, consider engagement with a range of stakeholders, and answer questions from our delegates.

Ian Isherwood introduces the workshop:

“The centennial of the First World War has provided ample opportunities for historians to engage with broader audiences on the subject of war.  In 2014, conscious of the challenges that teaching the First World War presents for educators at all levels, a small team at Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania, USA) began digitizing an archival resource and made it available to the public without an institutional mandate or dedicated funding. The First World War Letters of H.J.C. Peirs: A Digital History website began as a mechanism for publishing the correspondence of a British officer 100 years to the day they were written. However, as the team embraced the methodologies of the Digital Humanities, worked collaboratively on creative technological innovations, and discovered new avenues for combining archival and digital pedagogy into the classroom experience, the Peirs project grew into a pedagogy-focused, archives-based digital project that serves as an example of boundary-crossing, team-based Digital Humanities efforts. Through the framework of the Peirs project, this workshop will give guidance for team-building and project management, provide examples of Digital Humanities tools and methods that can be used with First World War collections, and outline pedagogical uses for digital history in the classroom.”

All attendees to ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’ are warmly invited to join us at this fascinating workshop, and will have the chance to speak to the team behind Jack’s letters. Tickets are currently available to members of our mailing list, and the full programme can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

For the latest updates on our conference and all other news relating to the First World War Network, follow us on Twitter @FwwNetwork

Draft conference programme announced!

The First World War Network is delighted to announce that, following an incredibly competitive and difficult selection process, the organising committee behind ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’ are able to publish the first details of the speakers and panels that will provide the platform for discussions at our upcoming conference.

We are proud to present a series of papers that cover the breadth of work within the field of First World War studies, from a range of speakers. Alongside established academics, the programme for ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’ provides opportunities for postgraduate students, early career researchers, museum and heritage professionals, and independent scholars from across the world to showcase their research.

The topics that will be addressed over the course of this conference emphasise the diversity of research interests within the field at the end of the centenary period, and illustrate the local and global legacies of the First World War as a historical event.

The programme of intended speakers can be viewed in full by following the link below:

We are greatly looking forward to welcoming you all to Edinburgh Napier in June, and will be making further announcements about the event in due course. For all the latest information, make sure to follow the First World War Network on Twitter: @FwwNetwork

Western Front Association: Mentioned in Dispatches podcast – call for contributors

Tom Thorpe, a First World War Network member and the presenter and producer of the Western Front Association’s ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ podcast, is looking for new contributors.

The WFA is a national UK charity dedicated to furthering interest in the Great War through commemoration, education and discussion. It has over 60 branches and 6,000 members worldwide ( The WFA is a non-political organisation and does not seek to glorify war but perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those on all sides who served their countries in France and Flanders, and their own countries, during the Great War.

Mention in Dispatches started in February 2017, and has produced around 90 programmes to date with a combined total of 104,000 downloads. Each weekly programme gets around 1,000 hits. The back catalogue is available on iTunes, Castbox and Acast ( The podcast has covered a diverse range of subjects from widows, nannies and animals in the Great War to battles, leaders and revolutionaries. It has featured a wide range of historians, academics and community projects.

Tom would be delighted to hear from anyone who may want to do an interview to promote some research, a book or just share their scholarship with a wider audience. We greatly encourage our members to contact him on

We look forward to hearing more about your work soon!