A talk by Philip Geddes
Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock OX20 1SN
Wednesday 11th July 2018
6.45pm – Doors Open & Refreshments Available
7pm – 8.30pm Lecture
“What comfort can I find ?” was the anguished question asked by the writer Rudyard Kipling after the death of his only son Jack at the Battle of Loos in the autumn of 1915. Kipling provided his own brutally realistic answer – “none this tide, nor any tide”. Kipling responded to his loss by becoming the unofficial voice of the people of Britain and its Empire. He wrote many of the words by which we now remember the dead of the Great War – striking phrases such as “Lest we forget” and “A Soldier of the Great War Known unto God.”
An Evening with Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Kipling’s life with readings from his poetry and prose. It takes Kipling from his early days as the chronicler of Britain’s Indian Raj, through to his high point as poet of Empire for Edwardian England and as voice of the nation in the First World War. The show includes many Kipling favourites – “If”, regularly voted Britain’s favourite poem, and extracts from Plain Tales from the Hills and the Just So stories.
About Philip Geddes
Philip Geddes is ‘a child of the Empire’ and a long standing Kipling fan. His family served in India for almost 200 years in the army and as political officers. He was a journalist for 30 years with the BBC, ITV and The Financial Times (as European Editor for Financial Times Television). He then spent 15 years as a consultant to European Commission, advising senior level officials on the development and presentation of policy. He has written for numerous magazines and newspapers, and is author of two books – In the Mouth of the Dragon, on the future of Hong Kong and Inside The Bank of England, the first modern study of the Bank of England.
For further information and to book, see here.
A new First World War play, ‘Dear Chocolate Soldier. A docudrama based on the letters (1916-1918) of Bombardier Edwin Hassall’, presented by Historia Theatre Company, edited and arranged by Kate Glover and directed by Kenneth Michaels will tour from 31 May 2018.
On Wednesday 6 June, it will show at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO), Woodstock.
It is June 1916. A 6 year old girl, Joan Burbridge, watches as her father wraps up a packet of chocolate for the brave soldiers at the front. A thought strikes her: ‘How will the soldier know the chocolate is from me?’ Her father obligingly writes on the packet: ‘From Little Joan, Whiterock, Wadebridge, Cornwall’.
Six weeks letter, a green field envelope arrives, addressed to Little Joan. Inside is a letter, sent direct from the fighting at the Somme, by Bombardier Edwin Hassall of Leek, Staffordshire. The story of the letters, from ‘The Chocolate Soldier’ to Little Joan, takes us to Armistice, and is told movingly and amusingly, by three actors, in a cabaret style performance with poetry and popular songs from the period.
For further details of the tour and to book tickets, please see here and also download the poster: DEAR CHOCOLATE SOLDIER Leek and Tour Leaflet
Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SN
13 December 2017 7-8:30pm
Sir Stephen Sedley, who became interested in British trench songs in the 1960s and recorded recollections of veterans, discusses the remarkable body of spontaneous, insubordinate and humorous song with which the troops faced hardship and death. With live music from Dick Wolff, Ian Wheeler and Mark Fry of Three Pressed Men. Guest vocalist, Marie-Jane Barnett.
Enjoy this evening entertainment with mulled wine and a mince pie included!
And take part in an ‘Out of Hours’ opportunity to visit our Heritage Lottery Funded exhibition on the centenary of the Great War Oxfordshire Remembers 1914-1918 Part II
£16 per ticket (includes mulled wine and a mince pie)
Beyond the Western Front: Exploring Hidden Histories of the First World War
The Glass Tank, Abercrombie Atrium, Oxford Brookes University
Fri 18 Nov – Fri 16 Dec 2016
Please see here for information on the exhibition and to download the exhibition catalogue.
Tudor Georgescu (Oxford Brookes), in collaboration with Stephen Barker and the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (Sofo), and the Centre for Hidden Histories at the University of Nottingham, present a special exhibition exploring the hidden histories of the First World War, as seen through the prism of the Ox and Bucks battalions’ experiences of the Italian, Balkan, Middle Eastern and Russian campaigns.
This exhibition goes beyond the well-trodden trenches of the Western Front, revealing a fascinating and intimate history of the First World War – one that also lucidly illustrates the global dimensions of WWI and our own role therein.
Three interconnecting sections investigate this rich legacy: The research projects conducted by the Sofo and Brookes volunteers that explore personal histories found in the museum archives; the artefacts on loan from the museum that are such impressive material legacies of the war; and the stereoscopic pictures converted to 3D anaglyphs that reinvent these remarkable images and make them accessible to a wider audience.
Ultimately, the exhibit aims to be an informal, engaging space in which to rediscover a remarkable perspective on the history of the First World War, and to encourage a conversation about what it means to us during the centenary commemorations and beyond.
To coincide with the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme (1 July-18 November 1916), Oxfordshire families are urged to bring First World War photographs, letters, diaries and objects to tell their stories at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock on Saturday 17th September between 10am and 4.30pm.
Experts from the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, the Western Front Association and other organisations will be on hand to talk to visitors about the significance of their memorabilia and to help them find out more.
Living historians will be giving demonstrations and there will be displays, activities for children, support for researching a soldier and refreshments available.
This event is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Entry to the museum will be free on the day, though donations would be appreciated.
The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum
T: 01993 810 210
Download poster of the event: Unknown Stories of the Great War