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Military Talks Programme 2015

Our popular talks season returns in February 2015 with monthly talks on a variety of military subjects covering the First World War, local history and 19th century conflicts. All talks are on Saturdays and begin at 2.00pm.

Tickets, priced £3.50 are available now from the DLI Shop or by calling us on 03000 266 590.

Military Talks Programme 2015

Saturday 18 April, 2.00pm

Bede Spirit; The Story of 8th Battalion DLI and its only action at Ypres Salient in April 1915

Harry Moses

This talk traces the story of the ‘Bede Company’, 8th Battalion The Durham Light Infantry from its inception as a Volunteer Company of the Regiment until its first and only action at the Battle of Gravenstafel Ridge, Ypres Salient in April 1915.

The Company comprised students and ex – students of the Teacher Training College of the Honourable Bede, Durham City, who went to France with the Durham Brigade of the Northumbrian Division and were quickly involved in the 2nd Battle of Ypres, when the Germans used gas for the first time.

From 1875, on joining the College it was expected that every fit student would join the Volunteer Company – later Territorials – together with, at least one member of the College staff. They undertook the usual Volunteer and Territorial training, attending an annual camp and drills, during their two year teacher training course. On the declaration of war, many of the current students (1912-1914) were joined by ex-students who rushed to join the Company. Without firing a shot in anger, these lads were in action a mere 4 days of arriving in France. It is a story of sacrifice and courage in exceptional circumstances, 100 years ago this month.

Harry Langstaff, 6th DLI

Military Talks Programme 2015

Saturday 16 May, 2.00pm

Witton le Wear; the Story of a County Durham village during the Great War

Anne Yuill

Life in the village of Witton-le-Wear 100 years ago, the local servicemen and the stories of some who made the ultimate sacrifice. It also gives an insight into what was it like for the families left behind and village life. The stories of wives, mothers and children as well as how they raised money and items needed for the troops, and also about the local Voluntary Aid Detachment hospital.

Military Talks Programme 2015

Saturday 20 June, 2.00pm

The War Behind the Wire: The Life, Death and Glory of British Prisoners of War, 1914-18

John Lewis-Stempel

Military Talks Programme 2015

Saturday 18 July, 2.00pm

The Role of the Durham Light Infantry in the Peninsular War

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson returns to the DLI Museum for a look into the DLI's involvement in the early 19th Century conflict.

Military Talks Programme 2015

Saturday 12 September, 2.00pm - NEW DATE

A Doctor’s Experience on the Western Front.

Ian McArdle

Dr. Charles Wilson, a young Medical Officer and his experiences right behind the Front Line at Ypres and the Somme.

In the Great War, Dr. Charles Wilson was a young Medical Officer on the Western Front and he has left us with a vivid description of the personalities and conditions he encountered there. He spent most of his time immediately behind the front lines in areas of great danger and saw action in Flanders, at Ypres and at the Somme, the latter being a particularly important turning point in his outlook on how men faced the ultimate test of courage. In his later career, Dr. Wilson was appointed Churchill's physician and was awarded the title of Lord Moran.

Military Talks Programme 2015

Saturday 17 October, 2.00pm

‘The Woman Who Didn’t Exist’

Clive and Kath Richardson

The astonishing but true story of Margaret Burns, an ordinary working class woman born in 1889, in Bowburn, County Durham. Much of her early life was spent in the Durham area and it was there she met and married a coal miner. Unfortunately her husband volunteered for Kitchener’s Army and was killed whilst serving with the Durham Light Infantry, near Arras, in 1917.

This led to a dramatic turn of events in which Margaret was forced to make some truly shocking decisions, including becoming the woman who didn’t exist. This gripping tale is guaranteed to arouse a range of emotions and will confirm the adage that truth is definitely stranger than fiction.

Heavy Tank Mk1 Female

Military Talks Programme 2015

Saturday 14 November, 2.00pm

The Development of Tanks During the First World War

Stuart Wheeler

The design and development of tanks during World War One and the evolution of tank tactics from September 1916 – November 1918.

For Valour

New exhibition opens 16 May 2015

This exhibition remembers and commemorates the great acts of heroism of ten men who were born in County Durham or served with the Durham Light Infantry and received the Victoria Cross for their actions during the First World War. All ten men performed extraordinary acts of courage, risking, and in many cases losing, their own lives in the process.

The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy". It is the only award that can be made to any rank. In this exhibition you will be able to discover the extraordinary stories that led to its presentation to these men of Durham.

See a full list of events on the Durham County Council website.