National Conference

An observation balloon ascending near Gaza by James McBey, 1917 © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2944)

An event to showcase our projects


On 30 October 2018 – the centenary of the Mudros Armistice, which marked the end of the First World War in the Middle East against the Ottoman Empire – we were delighted to hold a conference reflecting on the often-overlooked campaigns which took place all over the world between 1914 and 1918. ‘Away from the Western Front’ has combined research into aspects of the global war with arts activities in which people from all over Britain have considered what the war means to us today. This conference served both as a commemoration of the centenary of the Mudros Armistice and an opportunity to take a fresh look at the war away from the Western Front. In addition to the formal programme there were exhibitions showing our regional projects. Click on the images below to open the gallery.



The programme

  • Alan Wakefield, Head of First World War & Early 20th Century Conflict, Imperial War Museums, spoke on ‘A Most Cosmopolitan Front: Defining features of the Salonika Campaign 1915-1918’, followed by three presentations reflecting on personal stories – a Dartmoor stonemason, the artist Stanley Spencer and the composer Gustav Holst
  • Stuart Hadaway, historian and author, spoke on ‘War in the Land of Promises: The Palestine Campaign 1918 and its legacy’, followed by presentations about how a railway clerk won a VC, and how a churchgoer felt about visiting the Holy Land for the first time
  • Professor Nicholas Saunders, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Bristol spoke on ‘Desert Insurgency: The Archaeology of T E Lawrence and the Arab Revolt, 1916-18’
  • Soldiers from Lancashire and India fought in Mesopotamia, and some of their experiences were presented
  • Dr Anne Samson, Coordinator of the Great War in Africa Association sent us a presentation on ‘Medical tentacles: Military Medical services in Africa, 1914-1918 and beyond’
  • There were also presentations from our Creative Writing Competition, along with music created especially for the project
  • In addition to the formal programme there were exhibitions about the regional projects