• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Remembrance in Focus: The Past, Present and Future of Commemoration

Soldiers march past newly erected Cenotaph on Peace Day, 19 July 1919
Join us for a series of online talks with world-class academics exploring the past, present and future of commemoration, hosted in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

To mark Remembrance Day, the National Army Museum and Commonwealth War Graves Commission bring you a weekend of virtual talks.

Learn about the ideas and decisions that led to the creation of a remembrance culture, following the end of the First World War. Discover how the war dead were recovered and identified, and hear about the ongoing work to identify the bodies found on battle sites.

There will be discussions on the role of heritage in acts of remembrance, how commemoration has evolved since 1918 and where it is heading as we look towards the future.

The programme will take place online via Crowdcast. Follow the links to each talk to book your place.

Day 1

Origins and Futures: From the Establishment of IWGC to 21st Century Commemoration

Saturday 14 November, 12pm

Discover how the act of commemorating the First World War has developed since the establishment of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission 103 years ago.

  • Chaired by Professor Mark Connelly (University of Kent)
  • Amy Harrison (PhD Student, University of Kent and former CWGC intern)
  • Professor Lucy Noakes (University of Essex)

The Landscape of Commemoration: Built and Grown Heritage

Saturday 14 November, 2pm

Efforts to remember and commemorate the First World War have led to the development of built and natural heritage landscapes and landmarks. Join a panel of expert historians as they discuss how these heritage landscapes have been developed and preserved.

  • Chaired by Professor Ana Carden-Coyne (University of Manchester)
  • Dr Tim Godden (University of Kent)
  • Dr Sam Edwards (Manchester Met)
  • Dr James Wearn (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

Dealing with the Dead: The Recovery and Treatment of Casualties

Saturday 14 November, 4pm

Hear how different counties dealt with their war dead during and after the First World War in this comparative panel discussion.

  • Chaired by Dr George Hay (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
  • Dominiek Dendooven (Flanders Fields Museum)
  • Mathilde Bernardet (Memorial 14-18 Notre Dame-de-Lorette)
  • Oleg Voronov / Robert Bellal Zaka (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge)

Day 2

Identity and Death: Finding the Missing Then and Now

Sunday 15 November, 12pm

Learn how the bodies of missing soldiers were identified during the First World War and hear about ongoing efforts to identify the dead.

  • Chaired by Dr George Hay (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
  • Mel Donnelly (Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commemorations team)
  • Steve Arnold (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Unknown Warriors

Sunday 15 November, 2pm

Explore the origins of the Unknown Warrior concept and the significance that it continues to have in the modern day.

  • Chaired by Dr Peter Johnston (National Army Museum)
  • Peter Francis (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
  • Justin Saddington (National Army Museum)
  • Gavin McIlvenna (Society of the Honour Guard)

Closing Keynote with Sir Hew Strachan

Sunday 15 November, 4pm

Professor Sir Hew Strachan closes a weekend of talks with a keynote exploring the question of who we choose to remember.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."