To mark 11th November, I blogged about the connections between French Caribbean author Joseph Zobel, from the island of Martinique, and WW1.
Today, I’ve updated my WW1 page (see pages, above, or click here) with information about a new online resource launched in the UK.
The Caribbean’s Great War is a Heritage Lottery funded project to highlight the involvement of the Caribbean and her people in the First World War. The West India Committee was the heart of the Caribbean’s war effort in Britain and in 1915 established the West Indian Contingent Committee in response to the British Government’s decision to raise a West Indian army. The records held by the Committee provide a rare insight into the Caribbean’s role in the First World War, and much of what is now available has not been seen for a century.
It is a great tool for exploring more about the Caribbean’s involvement in WW1. The focus is mainly Anglophone, so it provides an important comparative perspective.
Tomorrow is 11th November, Armistice Day, which marks the end of the First World War, and is an important time to highlight my project’s humble, but I hope insightful, contribution to WW1 commemorations.
In January 2015, I attended an event on Britain’s Black Community and the Great War, which was organised by colleages at Birmingham and Nottingham’s WW1 Engagement Centres (funded through the AHRC) for researchers and members of the wider community.
The event was held at the Library of Birmingham, one of the city’s flagship buildings and a really important community space.
It was fantastic to meet a range of speakers from community groups in the Midlands area and to learn more about figures such as the footballer Walter Tull who fought and died in the First World War. I discussed my work on Zobel, and the event has spurred me on to think about Joseph Zobel, the French Caribbean and WW1.
As a result of this activity, I created a new blog page reflecting on WW1 and the French Caribbean. This seemed particularly important given that this project is running at a moment when across the world, commemorations are taking place to mark WW1.
I discuss the soldiers who fought from Martinique and Guadeloupe, and the references to WW1 in Zobel’s famous novel La Rue Cases-Nègres / Black Shack Alley (1950):
This week, I’m heading to Paris to speak at the Paris Salon du Livre (Paris Book Fair).
The Salon du Livre is a fantastic cultural event which brings together leading authors from all over the world who write in French and other languages, for five days of debates and talks.
I’ll be speaking as part of a Round Table on Joseph Zobel alongside colleagues from the Sorbonne, authors, and members of Zobel’s family… more to follow next week!
In other news, my colleagues at the University of Nottingham have kindly added my blog post on Joseph Zobel and WW1 to their website: http://hiddenhistorieswwi.ac.uk/?s=louise+hardwick
On Saturday 31st January, I attended an AHRC-funded event on Britain’s Black Community and the Great War, held at the Library of Birmingham.
The Library of Birmingham opened in 2013 and is one of the city’s flagship buildings and a really important community space.
This photo shows the library shortly before it was completed – the white boards at the bottom of the building have now been removed.
It was fantastic to meet a range of speakers from community groups in the Midlands area and to learn more about figures such as footballer Walter Tull, who fought and died in the First World War. I discussed my work on Zobel, and the event has spurred me on to think about the French Caribbean and WW1, particularly in the light of the WW1 Centenary. I’ve created a new page with more information.