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Lectures (in English)


Women in the Great War

The stories of some remarkable women during the First World War. Some names:
Käthe Kollwitz, German sculptor. She became famous in Belgium for her statues ‘the Grieving Parents’ in the German military cemetery in Vladslo, Dixmude. The statue of the father is opposite the grave of her son Peter.
Marie and Irène Curie, scientists and both Nobelprize winners. During the war they installed radiological equipment and they trained doctors and nurses on how to use it.
Edith Cavell, an English nurse who worked in Brussels. Her execution in Brussels caused a wave of protest in the United Kingdom. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers enlisted to fight against the ‘barbaric Huns’.
Ellen N. La Motte, an American nurse, author and journalist. She wrote a book about her experiences as a nurse at the Western Front. Despite early success, the book was suppressed and not republished until 1934.
Gabrielle Petit, a young Belgian woman who worked for the British intelligence services. She was arrested and trialed by a German military court. She refused to betray her network and was executed.
Nellie Spindler an English nurse who was killed by shell fire near Poperinge. She is the only British woman who died in Flanders Fields during the First World War and who is buried there. Her grave is at Lyssenthoek Military Cemetery where she rests between 10.785 men.


Elsie and Mairi go to War

The remarkable story of the Scottish Mairi Chisholm and the English Elsie Knocker. In November 1914 they settled in the ruined village of Pervyse, where they started a first aid post in the cellar of a house just behind the front line. There they invented the ‘golden hour treatment’. They took care of the wounded Belgian soldiers, they also took soup and hot chocolate to the men in the trenches. They stayed there until April 1918 when they were shelled and were forced to leave.


Children in the Great War

The stories of some remarkable children during the First World War. Some names:
Léon Trulin, French, executed at Lille 8 November 1915.
John Condon, Irish, age 14.
Yvonne Vieslet, a 10 year old Belgian girl, shot by a German soldier because she gave her sandwich to a French prisoner of war.
Rosa Zenokh, a 12 year old girl in Ukraine who was wounded and brought to Vienna, the capital of Austria-Hungaria. There her foot was amputated but she received lots of presents, even from the Emperor himself.
Carolus and Marcellus T’Seyen, two Belgian boys who were electrocuted while trying to cross the Belgian-Dutch border.

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