Leicestershire Talks

Talks on: 19th & 20th Century Historical Events

Talk 1- 'The 1914 Christmas Truce'

This talk covers the famous unofficial Christmas Truce of 1914, when British and German Soldiers disobeyed orders and unilaterally called a ceasefire and fraternised with each other over the Christmas period, including playing football matches. The talk focusses on the Leicestershire Regiment including the story of my relative who was killed on that Christmas Day. 

Talk 2 - 'The Story of the Unknown Warrior'

This talk tells the story of where the idea of an unknown warrior was first conceived; the very differing opinions of the King and the British government. The talk also focuses on how the Unknown Warrior was selected and his journey home from France; the nation’s reaction to the burial service in Westminster Abbey and why there was nearly a diplomatic incident between Britain and the USA.

Talk 3 - 'The Suffragette Movement: Votes for Women 1904 - 1928'

This talk tells the story of the Suffrage movement

1904-1928, from both the national and local perspective. It covers all the national figures and the leading Leicester Suffragettes in their campaigns of peaceful protests, mass demonstrations and escalating militancy. 

Talk 4 - 'The History and Development of the National Census'

This talk examines the development of the national census from its origins in 1801 to the 2011 census. The talk focuses on the controversial and the humorous aspects and also the various protests and controversies the history of the census. 

Talk 5 - 'Crime and Punishment in Leicestershire and Rutland'

This talk covers the history of crime and punishment at both the national and local levels. It discusses the range of capital offences, prison systems, capital punishment and prison reform 1800-1964, and charts the long slow abolition of the death penalty. 

Talk 6 - 'Commemoration of the 1.1 Million British Empire Dead of WW1

This presentation charts the origins and early years of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission (IWGC), and examines the work of the founders, the design and construction of the battlefield cemeteries and memorials, and the harrowing clearances of the battlefields after the Armistice in Nov 1918. 

Talk 7 - 'We Will Not Fight: Conscientious Objectors in WW1'

This talk covers the reasons for conscientious objection from both the national and local perspectives, and the attitudes and responses of the military, government and general population. 

Talk 8 - 'The Leicestershire Regiment Aug–Dec 1914’

Covers the history of the 1 & 2 Battalions of the Leicestershire Regiment (“Leicester’s Old Contemptibles”) from the outbreak of war 4 Aug 1914-25 Dec 1914.

Talk 9 – 'Injustice or Justifiable?: The Executed Empire Soldiers in the Great War'

Examines the reasons and rationale why 346 British soldiers were executed for desertion and cowardice during the Great War, by focussing on the Court Martial system, and why there was a mass posthumous pardon in 2006.

Talk 10 - POWs of the Great War

This talk covers how Prisoners of War were treated by their captors during WW1

(Available by May 2017)

Talk 11 - Famous 20th Century Natural, Sporting and Transport Disasters

This talk covers many 20th Century disasters from across the world including, earthquakes, floods; transport disasters (e.g. the sinking of the Titanic and the Munich air crash; sporting/entertainment disasters (e.g. Le Mans, Ibrox, Bradford and Hillsborough).

(Available by August 2017)

Talk 12 - WW1 Chemical Warfare

This talk will cover the development, deployment and consequences of WW1 gas attacks.

(In development)

Talk 13 - The Story of the Titanic

This talk discusses the concept and construction of the RMS Titanic and the reasons that led to the disastrous maiden voyage and the consequences that followed in the aftermath. The roles of key figures are examined and assessed as to the degree of their culpability.

Talk 14 - The JFK Assassination

This talk will chart the events of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in November 1963, and will also examine the various "cover-up" conspiracy theories.

Talk 15 - The Leicestershire Territorials at the Battle of the Hohenzollern Redoubt - Sep/Oct 1915

This talk will chart the actions of the Leicestershire City and County Territorial Battalions, in September and October 1915, when very significant casualties were suffered.

Talk 16 - The Leicestershire Regiment in the Great War

This talks presents all the significant actions involving the Leicestershire Regiment on the Western Front and other theatres of operation 1914-1918.

Talk 17 - The Leicestershire Regiment's actions in the Battle of the Somme

This talk presents the various actions in which the Leicestershire Regiment participated during the Battle of the Somme (1st July-18th Nov 1916)

Talk 18 - Belgrave Cemetery

Biographies of the 28 WW1 Soldiers and Sailors interned in Belgrave Cemetery, Leicester

Talk 19 - WW1 Medical Services

This talk examines the various medical services in the Great War. Included is the various types of Hospitals and nurses and doctors of the royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). The Leicestershire focus will centre on the Medical Records held at the National Archives. The treatment of WW1 soldiers suffering from shell-shock (PTSD) will also be examined.

Talk 20 - Leicester at War on the Battlefields and Home Front

(in development)

Talk 21 - Leicester Transport

(in development)

Talk 22 - Disasters of the Great War

(in development)

Talk 23 - The story of the Holocaust

(Available in September 2017)