The Agincourt Archer
Experimental archaeologist Dave Allan will discuss the day-to-day life of an English longbowman from his training to the skills needed. Drawing upon real artefacts from different bows to arrowheads, this will be a compelling insight into how these iconic English warriors fought and lived.
The Sutton Mandeville Badges
Archaeologist Antony Firth has led the project to reinstate the wonderful Royal Warwickshires badge carved into the chalk at Sutton Mandeville and is planning to restore the Shiny Sevenths’ badge too. In this local history talk, he will be talking about the history of the badges and the First World War camp sited there.
Food & Cookery in Iron Age Britain: From the Dig to the Plate
Caroline Nicolay is an experimental archaeologist and historical food caterer specialising in Iron Age Britain. Here she will be discussing just what it was that Iron Age men and women ate, what evidence they left behind and how comparable is our 21st century diet to our Celtic ancestors’ one.
Francelle White’s mother was born and raised in Paris and during the Nazi occupation joined one of the very first resistance cells. Based on Andrée’s wartime diaries, her daughter tells the incredible story of one young woman’s defiance against the Nazis.
Flying Legend: Sir Alan Cobham
Sir Alan Cobham was a pioneering long-distance aviator and technical innovator who became famous for his exploits during the interwar years, making aviation accessible and popular throughout the world. This talk will explore Cobham’s numerous record setting flights, inspirational flying tours and his lasting legacy within aviation.
Cobham learnt to fly in the RAF during the First World War and later went on to set many long-distance aviation records. He was the first person to fly from London to Australia and back – landing on the River Thames at the end of his incredible journey – and was knighted by King George V. His flying tours of the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa became affectionately known as ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus’. These tours promoted aviation to the public and were a source of inspiration for countless pilots in the Second World War. Cobham’s legacy lives on through his company which continues to pioneer aviation technology.
Heart of Oak: The Naval Timber Crisis in the Reign of George III
During the reign of George III there was a perception of ‘a great scarcity of timber’ for naval shipbuilding leading to proposals for the New Forest, Hampshire, to be privatised – but was this modern history’s first instance of ‘fake news’?
Septimus Severus in Scotland
Septimius Severus was one of the great warrior Emperors. He hacked his way to power in AD 193 and fought off all challengers before embarking on successful wars of conquest in the east and Africa. Yet Severus, born in the blistering heat of a North African summer to one of the richest families in the Empire, died in the freezing cold of a Yorkshire winter in February AD 211 in the wild west of the Roman Empire. Why? In AD 209 and 210, he marched with an enormous, 57,000 men strong army to achieve what no Emperor had done before: conquer Scotland. Although he failed, his most infamous genocidal order, to ‘kill everybody’, still resonates today.
Dr Simon Elliott
Simon Elliott is an archaeologist and historian specialising in Roman Britain and the Roman military. His PhD, at the University of Kent, focused on the presence of the latter in the south east of Britain during the Roman occupation. He has an MA in War Studies from KCL and an MA in Archaeology from UCL. His next book is called Septimius Severus in Scotland: the Northern Campaigns of the First Hammer of the Scots, to be published at the end of February by Greenhill Books. His first book, Sea Eagles of Empire: The Classis Britannica and the Battles for Britain, was published by the History Press in 2016 and won the MHM Book of the Year award in 2017. Meanwhile his second book, Empire State: How the Roman Military Built an Empire, was published by Oxbow Books in 2017. He is a Trustee of the Council of British Archaeology, an Ambassador for Museum of London Archaeology and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent.
Retreat to Dunkirk
Historian and storyteller Steve Wisdom, in the full kit of an English Tommy, recounts an eye-witness tale of one man’s retreat to Dunkirk in May 1940 and his eventual escape from the beaches. A compelling, vivid and dramatic retelling of one of the most pivotal events in the war.