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Talks and Public Events

I enjoy giving public talks to groups ranging in size from large crowds down to smaller more personal events. These are some of the talks I have given, and I am always researching more topics of interest.

The Royal Navy in the Second World War:

In this presentation I discuss, with the use of photographs, uniforms and handling artefacts, how the British sailor lived, worked and fought in all theatres throughout WW2. The Royal Navy increased in size drastically between 1939-45: the changes this brought about, both militarily and socially, within the service will be addressed.

The Home Guard; 1914-18, 1940-44, 1952-56:

The Home Guard, in its various guises was the last unpaid militia in Great Britain. The fact that so many men (and later some women!) answered the call to arms, despite no hope of pay or compensation for injury, was incredible. The use of photos, uniform and handling artefacts make this a very ‘hands-on’ presentation.

Music in Historical Education:

This presentation is based around the involvement of music my historical education work with children and the public. Music and song have been used through the ages for social, leisure and military reasons - even to help people in the workplace - and today can offer a 'gateway' into finding out about the past. Communal singing in particular is a shared activity that appears to be fading away in our modern secular society and I focus on this aspect and how it can be beneficial in a classroom, museum and public event environment.

WW1 Trench life, using cartoons and songs:

I discuss the everyday life and conditions of British soldiers in the trenches on the Western Front in 1914-18. Using cartoons, songs and photographs I illustrate the way in which ‘Tommy’ humour enabled many to survive despite the horror. There will also be an opportunity to handle original artifacts and equipment.

Life in Nelson's Navy:

What was it like to serve aboard a ‘man o’ war’ in the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars? Come along and find out as I use images, weapons, artefacts, song and dance in order to paint a comprehensive picture of ‘Jolly Jack Tar’!

The Experience of the common soldier in the British Civil Wars, 1642-51:

Come and see how the poor foot soldier survived (or not!) despite the horrific conditions of the British Civil Wars. Utilising images, uniform, weapons and equipment, I paint a colourful picture of living and fighting in ‘this war without an enemy’.

A Norfolk soldier in the Anglo-Sikh War, 1845-46:

I discuss the role of the 9th in this conflict, presenting the subject using first-hand narratives, images, uniform, weapons and artefacts. A very unusual and demanding theatre of war for those Norfolk lads!

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