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Free Lecture: Professor Mark Connelly "Rebuilding Ypres: 1919-1939"

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Lancaster University

Bailrigg

LA1 4YW

United Kingdom

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This is the latest lecture in the Centenary Lecture Series cohosted by the Lancaster Military Heritage Group and the Department of History at Lancaster University. The event is free and is held in the George Fox lecture theatre 1 on Wednesday 22nd November, 2017. Professor Mark Connelly, of the University of Kent, will be speaking about the impact of the First World War on the city of Ypres:

By the time of the Armistice, Ypres was already a legend throughout the British Empire. Five battles had been fought around the city which had turned it, and its surrounding hinterland, into a devastated wasteland. But, this devastated zone had become known as holy ground to the people of the Empire sanctified by the blood of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. As soon as the war ended, visitors began to arrive. Some wanted to find out where loved ones had fought and died while others wanted to see something of the reality of the battlefields for themselves. This immediately created an important distinction between the visitor motivated by genuine feelings of respectful remembrance - rapidly renamed 'pilgrims' - and the 'tourist' others. At the same time, the local people began to recreate the pre-war lives and communities and also began to service the needs of visitors. In turn, this stirred up the potential for dispute as to who truly owned Ypres and how far reconstruction should be allowed to obliterate the landscape of the war. This talk will explore these issues and the way Ypres was perceived as something akin to a British possession during the 1920s and 1930s.

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Lancaster University

Bailrigg

LA1 4YW

United Kingdom

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