Introduction: Why we are holding these talks on November 11th

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
On November 11th, Armistice Day, we traditionally mourn the British and allied dead. In fact, the war was a tragedy for all the peoples who took part and we should mourn all those who died. There were people on both sides who opposed the war at the time and said it was a waste of human life and resources. These talks recount the little-known histories of some of those Germans who opposed war between 1914 and 1933. In Britain, remembrance ceremonies are accompanied by military parades which […]

Film showing: Westfront 1918

Resisting War Poster
Vastfronten 1918 Dir: Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1930, 97 mins, Cert: PG As part of a series of events looking at World War 1 from a German perspective, we are very pleased to provide a rare chance to see what has been acclaimed as ‘one of the greatest anti-war films’. Made in 1930 by the acclaimed German director Georg Pabst, this sub-titled version is screened thanks to the support of the Goethe-Institut. The screening will be introduced by Humberto Perez-Blanco, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at […]

‘Refusing To Kill’

Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors

From Saturday September 9th, the Remembering The Real World War 1 group are presenting an exhibition ‘Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors‘ in Bristol Cathedral on College Green. The exhibition will run until early January. Over 350 men from the Bristol area refused to fight in World War 1. They claimed the status of conscientious objector for moral, religious or political reasons. Some agreed to take non-military roles. Others spent much of the war in prison, often […]

Turbulence

Labour and Gender Relations in Bristol’s Aircraft Industry during the First World War

Turbulence Front Cover
Turbulence describes how the expanding armaments industry of the First World war drew thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled workers – women as well as men- into Bristol’s aircraft factories. Skilled men in the workforce resented their arrival. They also defended their own exemption from military conscription. Opposition to the dilution of skills through changes in the production process sometimes combined with traditional male hostility towards women at the work place. Nevertheless the […]

Life Gallery, Level 1: Dorothy and Archibald

A tragic tale of World War One victims

A performative reading of the tragic tale of Private Archibald Knee and Dorothy Beard who died together in 1916: a mutual suicide of two victims of the First World War. Stuart Butler and Rachel Simpson will give readings from Dorothy and Archibald, a folding publication, with illustrations, produced to commemorate two tragic deaths. Designed and illustrated by Katie Johnston, an RCA graduate from Nailsworth, near Stroud, this collaborative book features texts by Stuart and Alice Butler, on the […]

Life Gallery, Level 1: ‘Taking a Holiday’ puppet show

By Otherstory

A story of struggle during the First World War - full of intrigue, escapes, comradeship...and bikes. Recommended for adults and older children. Three showings at: 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm in the Life Gallery, Level 1. Otherstory is a collective of puppeteers, artists and activists based in Bristol. They aim to tell stories that are playful and political, radical and magical.

Studio 2: Wales and Socialism Before the Great War

The universal and the particular in the growth of a new movement

Socialism, which presented itself as a new and exciting ideology in the Britain of the 1880s, was essentially universalist in nature. It proposed a set of solutions to the problem of capitalism that were in theory applicable to all societies, and it derided what it saw as divisive particularisms such as nationalism. In reality, though, socialists had to apply their universalist ideas to particular situations wherever they presented their ideas. The growth of socialism in Wales from the 1880s to […]

Studio 1: John Maclean and The War After The War

This talk places John Maclean's pamphlet The War After The War in its broader international and political context. Exploring connections (and differences) between the various international socialists fighting against World War One. These include James Connolly, Eugene Debs and Lenin. In the context of Brexit, Scotland's independence referendum and Trump, with political events increasingly viewed through the prism of nationalism at home and abroad we ask what now for Maclean's working class […]

Studio 1: Refusing to fight

Conscientious Decision-Making [Lois Bibbings] This talk gives a brief insight into what First World War conscientious objectors to military service meant when they talked about 'conscience' or the reasoning behind their decision and how their beliefs or thinking impacted upon the course of action they took during conscription. It does so by telling stories about a few of those who objected. Martyrs or Rebels? Another side of Britain’s 1914-18 war resisters [Cyril Pearce] Our view of Britain’s […]

Studio 2: Bristol Radical History Group highlights

Lady Blackshirts, The Smoke Dragon, Bristol's Aircraft Industry, From Wulfstan to Colston

A series of 10 minute 'taster talks' covering recently or soon to be published Bristol Radical History Group texts. These include: Lady Blackshirts: The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists [Rosemary Caldicott] During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, who considered themselves feminists, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking members of the suffragette movement. The Smoke-Dragon and How […]