The Great War...Lest We Forget?

Posted by ap507 at Feb 21, 2014 11:55 AM |
Recap of the Leicester Exchanges live debate, which took place at Sixty One Whitehall, London, on Wednesday 19 February 2014

Our understanding of the First World War is often limited to “stereotypes” about the Western Front and ignores the global scale of the conflict, experts argued at a Leicester Exchanges live debate at Sixty One Whitehall, London, on February 19.

The Great War...Lest We Forget?, a debate chaired by the University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess, featured a panel of historians and media experts who agreed that the 100th anniversary of the war offers an unprecedented opportunity to broaden popular conceptions about the conflict.

They said that our “Anglocentric” focus on the muddy battlefields of the Western Front should be widened to include the many struggles which occurred around the world – which they believe have often been neglected in British teaching, literature and media.

The location of the event – the old Whitehall Palace - was an ideal venue for the debate, as it is located just minutes from the Cenotaph, and its magnificent library holds an extensive collection of books on the First World War.

The event drew a 100-strong audience at the venue, with incisive questions from historians, ex-soldiers, battlefield guides, journalists and academics. An even larger number of contributors from around the world engaged with the debate online.

Leicester Exchanges is a platform for debate run by the University to give voice to the opinions of individuals and inspire healthy and constructive discussions.

Listen to a podcast recording of the debate: