LOCAL HISTORY TALKS - by Chris Holland
1. The Story Behind The Monument
The unusual and moving story of the time spent by the 'Incomparable' 29 th Division in Warwickshire, in the early months of 1915, before their departure for Gallipoli. The monument in question is at the intersection of the A45 and Fosse Way near Stretton on Dunsmore; it commemorates not just the Division's war record but also their stay in the Warwickshire area.
Based on "The Story Behind The Monument" by Chris Holland and Tony Jordan.
2. The "Amazing Adventures" of Godfrey Herbert, 1914-18
The remarkable and controversial Great War career, in submarines and Q-Ships, of Commander Godfrey Herbert RN - a hero to his country, a war criminal to his enemies. Godfrey Herbert's home town was Kenilworth .
Based on research undertaken for "Doing Its Part Nobly: Coventry's King Henry VIII School and the Great War" by Chris Holland and Rob Phillips.
3. When the Spanish 'flu Came to Coventry and Warwickshire,
The local impact of the world's most lethal influenza virus (to date). The talk also considers why an event that killed more than 200,000 Britons seems largely to have been forgotten.
4. A Coventry School at War
Some of the stories of the 250 old boys of King Henry VIII School who served in the Great War: sad, stirring and occasionally bizarre. Those who served ranged from First Sea Lord to humble privates.
Based on "Doing Its Part Nobly: Coventry's King Henry VIII School and the Great War" by Chris Holland and Rob Phillips.
5. Armistice Day and Remembrance in Warwickshire, 1918-25
The talk looks at how news of the Armistice in 1918 arrived in the area and at the way local people responded; at the Peace Celebrations of July 1919; at the way in which Armistice Day was subsequently observed locally (in the period to 1925) and, finally, at some of the local debates on the form which permanent memorials to 'The Fallen' should take.
6. Roland's War
A Coventry soldier's war - as recounted in letters written by Roland Mountfort whilst serving on the Western Front and in East Africa between March 1915 and January 1918. The letters are now regarded as one of the finest collections held by the Imperial War Museum. Mountfort was a shrewd and literate observer who looked at the war from the perspective of the ranks.
Based on "The Great War Letters of Roland Mountfort"; transcription and commentary by Chris Holland and Rob Phillips.
7 . Forgotten Hero: The Story of Joseph Elkington, Agricultural Pioneer, 1739-1806
He farmed at Princethorpe, was rewarded by Parliament and is commemorated in Stretton on Dunsmore. If you thought agricultural drainage was simply a question of digging ditches, think again! A true pioneer, now celebrated as a founding father of hydrogeology. The talk sets Elkington's work into its contemporary context - the 'Agricultural Revolution', growing interest in geology etc.
Based on "Joseph Elkington: Warwickshire's Land Drainage Pioneer" by Chris Holland, Anne Langley and Adam Moore.
From the autumn of 2009:
8. A War's Shadow: Dunchurch and the Great War
Some of the stories behind over one hundred names of men who fell in the Great War and who are commemorated in St Peter's Church, Dunchurch. These are not only local villagers (including the Vicar) but also former pupils of Dunchurch Hall School .
9. 'For Valour': Warwickshire's VC Winners from the Great War