First World War talks at Tonbridge School

Some of the UK’s foremost First World War experts are heading for Tonbridge this autumn to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

In a series of talks arranged by local resident Becky Lamb, and hosted by Tonbridge School, eight internationally renowned historians and authors will discuss aspects of the Great War and the longed-for peace that followed. 

The talks commence on Thursday 13 September with TV military historian and author Peter Barton, whose presentation will address ‘Challenging History – How Much We Don’t Know About the First World War’. 

Each talk is being held in the school’s Cawthorne Lecture Theatre, with doors opening at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. 

Announcing the series, Becky Lamb said: “Thanks to its busy railway and river wharves, Tonbridge was a hive of military activity during the First World War. Many hundreds of men and women from the local schools and the wider community served the war effort and many never returned home.

“I thought it would be fitting to mark the centenary of the guns finally falling silent by bringing acknowledged experts to Tonbridge to examine some of the less well-known aspects of the First World War.”

She added: “I am extremely grateful to the staff of Tonbridge School, who have so generously supported this initiative. We look forward to welcoming anyone with an interest in local – and world – history to these talks.”

Tickets are available in advance priced at £4 for each talk, or at £20 for a ‘bundle’ ticket giving access to all events. They are available via Paypal – email tonbridgetalks@gmail.com for information – and at Mr Books bookshop on Tonbridge High Street. 

Twitter: @TonFWWTalks 

Facebook.com/tonbridgefwwtalks 

Email to find out more: tonbridgetalks@gmail.com 

The full itinerary is:
Thursday 13 September: Peter Barton: ‘Challenging History – How Much We Don’t Know About the First World War’

Friday 28 September: Alexandra Churchill: ‘The Great War – Then and Now’

Wednesday 3 October: Charles Fair: ‘Officer Training Corps to Officer Cadet Battalions – Training Junior Officers in the Great War’

Monday 15 October: Geoffrey Vesey-Holt: ‘Hard Road to Victory – the Tank Corps in 1918’

Thursday 18 October: Peter Hart: ‘Douglas Haig’

Thursday 25 October: John Sheehan: ‘Learning Curve? The Development of the British Expeditionary Force’

Wednesday 7 November: Maj Gen (Retd) Mungo Melvin: ‘Sevastopol’s Wars from Potemkin to Putin’ (special one-off free event supporting the War Talks programme – advance ticket only)

Monday 19 November: Taff Gillingham: ‘Remembrance and the Great War – a Very British Perspective’