The British Association for Local History and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies are organising a workshop about the First World War.

Experiences of World War One: strangers, differences and locality, will be held at the University of London on Friday 28th February 2014 from 9:30am to 4:15pm.Tickets cost £25.00.

The workshop will serve as “an introduction to researching war experience and its legacy: individual, family and community perspectives through the prism of the local, national and international”.

The workshop will consider the opportunities – in terms of interacting with new people, places and societies – provided by the conflict, and poses several questions which will be explored:

– How did local communities interact with colonial and Dominion troops?

– In what ways did racial issues impact on local community relations during the war, and in its aftermath?

– What relationships evolved between communities, hospitals where colonial/Dominion troops were treated as individual soldiers?

– How might the war’s legacy be informed by ethnic minorities?

– During the war years, and after, how was the idea of Empire experienced, understood and imagined by people in British localities?

– To what extent did war change European colonial victors’ views of their extended Empires?



Registration, and coffee/tea


Welcome and introduction: Professor Philip Murphy, Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS).


Keynote: Dr Catriona Pennell (Exeter) on the relationship of locality to national and international events in the First World War.

Dr Pennell is author of A Kingdom United: Popular Responses to the Outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland (OUP, 2012).


Local responses to ‘the other’:

1. Dr Suzanne Bardgett (Imperial War Museum): Whose remembrance? A study of available research on communities in Britain, and the colonial experience of the First World War.

2. Dr Richard Smith (Goldsmiths, University of London): Responses to Black and Indian soldiers in Britain.




Localities, nations and Empire: Britain and Ireland in times of crisis, 1912-1922.

Professor David Killingray (Goldsmiths, University of London; and ICwS)


Using The National Archives colonial records.

Dr Mandy Banton (ICwS), author of Administering the Empire 1801-1968: A Guide to the Records of the Colonial Office in The National Archives of the UK.

(University of London IHR in conjunction with TNA UK, 2008).


Final discussion, and tea


The Court Room (Senate House, first floor)

Senate House

Malet Street

London, WC1E 7HU

To book tickets for the workshop, visit the Institute of Commonwealth Studies website here.