Agenda ’19

Poppy Petals
Meaning of WW1 in 21st Century Britain


Gateways to the First World War
The In Flanders Fields Museum and the University of Kent (School of History) present a series of eight seminars on Thursday evening, free and open to all.

The four lectures in Ieper are scheduled at 7.15pm and take place in the reading room of the In Flanders Fields Museum, Sint-Maartensplein 3.


Thursday 24 January
Professor Lucy Noakes, University of Essex
Poppy Petals: The Meaning of the Great War in 21st Century Britain

In 2014 Britain embarked on four years of commemorative activity to mark the centenary of the Great War.  This talk considers what the past four years tell us about the meanings of this conflict in 21st century Britain, where, far from being universally established and agreed upon, symbols of remembrance such as the British Legion poppy are contested and fought over, demonstrating the political nature of remembrance.  Drawing on a range of material, including political debates, commemorative activities and a Directive on individual understandings of the Great War, commissioned by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, the talk will discuss both the meanings of the Great War in 21st century Britain, and what these might tell us about the country today.