Day Schools in War Studies

A Spring Day School from The Centre for War Studies, University of Birmingham

The Midlands and the Great War

Saturday 7 March 2015

The Midlands was one of the powerhouses of the British war effort during the Great War.  It was a major centre for the production of munitions, weapons and military equipment.  There was also a ready response to Kitchener’s ‘call to arms.  ‘Pals’ battalions’ were not as common as they were in other parts of the country and only Birmingham really raised any, but the Territorial Force was strong, especially in Staffordshire.  Infantry regiments with strong Midlands connections fielded 210 battalions, which fought in every theatre of the war.  About half a million men were also trained in the Midlands in the great encampments on Cannock Chase.  This Day School takes a fresh look at how the war was experienced in the Midlands, focusing on working-class attitudes, religious values, the mobilization of manufacturing and remembrance.


  • 10.00  Welcome and Introduction by John Bourne
  • 10.15  Paul Fantom (University of Birmingham) ‘Working-class Attitudes to the Great War: Some Reflections Concerning the Home Front in the Black Country’
  • 11.30  Coffee
  • 12.00  Dr Wayne Osborne (Independent Scholar and Author) ‘Midlands Manufacturing during the Great War’
  • 13.15  LUNCH
  • 14.00  Rev. Stuart Bell (University of Birmingham) ‘“United We Stand”: The Response of the Churches of the East Midlands to the Great War’
  • 15.15  Tea
  • 15.45  Professor John Bourne (University of Wolverhampton) ‘Thirty-Six Midlands Soldiers in the Great War: Reflections on the Hot Lane and Elder Road Street Shrine, Burslem, Staffordshire’
  • 17:00  General Discussion
  • 17.15  Close


The Day School will be held in the Arts main lecture theatre, Arts Building (building R16 on campus map), University of Birmingham


The Spring Day School costs £15 per person for Friends or Members of the Centre or Graduates of the University of Birmingham or Current Students and £25 per person for others.  Tea, coffee and a buffet lunch are included in the price.


Further information



Previous dayschools have included:

  • The YMCA goes to war
  • US Civil War to First World War learning the lessons
  • 'A Contemptible Little Army' The BEF in 1914
  • Gallipoli and the Dardanelles: 95 years on
  • Decision at Derby: the Jacobite invasion of England and the fate of the 'forty-five'
  • Air power: the challenges of High Command in peace and war
  • Service and sacrifice: a commemoration of YMCA work in the Great War
  • Learning and Training in Haig's Army