‘A Supernatural War’ by Professor Owen Davies, new book released!

Oxford University Press is excited to share with you their new release, A Supernatural War by Owen Davies. It was a commonly expressed view during the First World War that the conflict had seen a major revival of ‘superstitious’ beliefs and practices. Owen Davies explores the broader issues regarding early twentieth-century society in the West, the psychology of the supernatural during wartime, and the extent to which the war cast a spotlight on the widespread continuation of popular belief in magic. A Supernatural War reveals the surprising stories of extraordinary people in a world caught up with the promise of occult powers. A comprehensive study of the major revival of supernatural beliefs, superstition, and spiritualism during the First World War and its aftermath. A look at what the beliefs, practices, and contemporary opinions on magic can tell us about broader issues in early twentieth-century society, the experience of war, and the psychology of belief. Relates how the prophecies of Nostradamus were used as propaganda by both sides, a diverse range of talismans and charms were carried by soldiers, and the myriad tales of battlefield ghosts came to be. Includes previously unpublished accounts from soldiers and fortune-tellers on their faith and practices, for a remarkable insight into the nature of popular belief. For more information, find out more...

The Woman of Westmoor takes centre stage at Kingsbury Episcopi WW1 Centenary Commemorative Event

After 3 years of extensive researches, a Heritage Lottery Grant and the support of the Parish Community, Kingsbury Time Travellers held their Centenary Commemorative Event in the New Community Centre on the last Sunday of September. Many of the men who left the Parish in 1914 for the War had been involved in the withy business, as did their parents. The main area of growing was Westmoor. Today only a small area is maintained and used in community withy workshops, workshops with the local primary school and for the annual May Festival. At the Commemorative event were willow crosses and hurdles made by primary school pupils. A central, and focal point was – The Woman Of Westmoor. Created by Maurice Fawcett from the Parish, the sculpture was interlaced with sunflowers grown in the Parish, hung with Memory Cards,  and with copies of this poem by Elanor Farjeon written in the Spring of 1917. The poem was also inscribed onto brass plates which along with a relief model of the Parish has gone into our 6 public-access buildings. The poem – with its reference to apples (Kingsbury Episcopi is a major national producer of cider apples) –The Woman of Westmoor, created from willow, was a representation of all the women of the Parish during WW1. The willow tradition is part of the cultural and historical traditions of the Parish. Facebook – Kingsbury Episcopi Parish Archiving Group The Everyday Lives in War Centre was delighted to share in the event through the presence of 8 standalone banners from their collaborative Basketry Then & Now...

Funding Success for Project on Ex-Service Students

One of the projects supported via an World War One Engagement Centre grant has secured funding for follow-up research! Back in 2018, a team of academic researchers (Daniel Laqua, Georgina Brewis, Sarah Hellawell) worked with community partners (National Union of Students, Workers’ Educational Association) to shed light on students who had undertaken wartime service, placing particular emphasis on their involvement in university life and their efforts for international cooperation. Their project ‘British ex-service students and the rebuilding of Europe, 1919–1926’ resulted in a series of public events, blog posts, newsletter content as well as a 16-page pamphlets. Moreover, archival research in Edinburgh, Durham, Newcastle and London helped the team to identify a number of fresh research angles, which will now be pursued thanks to a 2020 Anniversary Grant from the Society for Educational Studies (SES). The new project – involving the same group of researchers – is entitled ‘University access and student life in the aftermath of the Great War: local, national and transnational dimensions of the Scheme for the Higher Education of Ex-Service Students (1918)’. Laqua, Brewis and Hellawell will investigate a transformative moment in the history of British higher education, focusing on funding provisions for ex-service students. As with its forerunner, work with community partners will generate a series of public engagement...

Funder Films Cic Wye Chilham Chartham: Scene From The Train 1914-18

This summer, local communities in Wye, Chilham and Chartham turned detective to unearth the stories of our villages’ fallen soldiers and discover what happened to those who stayed. The result was a mobile exhibition which was taken into Wye School, Wye Heritage Centre and Wye station, with a film of the project currently underway. For more information, take a look at the Wye Exhibition –...