Dorking U3A member Barrie Friend has offered to lead a group on military history and wants to hear from those who might be interested. In an email to members, he writes: “Military history is more than just ‘guns and gore’ for it also includes topics that are associated with conflict and the consequences of war.
“We encounter much evidence of war on our doorsteps (V1 attacks on Surrey in the Second World War, Zeppelin raids on Guildford during the Great War, the Canadian army in Dorking, a local Paratroop veteran who fought in the Falkland Islands, IRA bombings in London, English Civil War sites, our own Surrey regiments) and also a little further afield in Europe (the battles of Waterloo, the Western Front and the D-Day landings).
“These may fall into the ‘guns and gore’ category, and learning more about the causes of the wars, the politics behind them, the progress of the battles and their consequences has an interest of its own.
“Military history also encompasses topics associated closely with conflict. These include art (William Orpen, John Singer Sargent), music (Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth), poetry and literature (Rudyard Kipling, Wilfred Owen, Vera Brittain), architecture (Edwin Lutyens), memorialisation (our own war memorials, Betchworth Village Memorial Hall), the Unknown Warrior, development of medicine and surgery (blood transfusions, X-rays), the role of women in war (VAD, QAIMNS), the Home Front, and the impact of war on society.
“This richness of topics has a fascinating and wide history and may be considered to be integral to the proposed Military History group, lending itself to expanding our understanding with talks by group members, discussions, visits to war museums, sites of action in the UK and Europe, authors’ and musicians’ homes and research in local and national archives.
“Does this proposed group sound interesting to you? If so, please contact Barrie Friend on 07796 633516, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”