Thursday, 28 July 2016

Mapping untold stories of World War 1

Indian Army wounded dressed in 
‘Convalescent Blue’ 
outfit in the Dome, Brighton

When what you're looking at is too huge to understand, you reach for a map.  Body density maps of World War One is one way to attempt to 'picture' where death happened (see over the top).  You might begin to visualise impact of those deaths by mapping the streets they left behind. But what about the casualties from physical wounds, illness, and emotional trauma?

We know there were many more than those who died, but have no fixed number.  Their injuries and return from fighting is well documented, but how can we even begin to understand the immensity of change in the lives of people living in, or patients staying in Birmingham?

Monday, 18 July 2016

Over the top

Touring to schools from October to December 2016

Summer 1916. 141 days of horror begin as the Battle of the Somme becomes one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history. In a crowded hospital near the front line a nurse scrubs the floor in the relentless war against infection and disease, but not all the wounds of war can be treated in this manner.
“It’s not the missing limbs that haunts you.
Its what’s missing behind the eyes, inside.”

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Working hard 100 years on

Graduates leaving the ceremony
Last week I was invited by Baron Bilimoria of Chelsea, in full ceremonial dress as chancellor of the University of Birmingham to sit back in the Great Hall of the University of Birmingham and appreciate the history of just that one room - the events and celebrations that have happened there.