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Great War: Unknown WarNews and Events

Film Guest Speaker Programme Event

3 March 2015
Lecture Theatre B

Event details

'Putting the moral into morale: YMCA cinemas, 1914-1918' by Dr Emma Hanna, University of Greenwich.

This paper will focus on the wartime cinema facilities provided by the philanthropic association the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the YMCA turned its attention to providing support for the troops fighting for Britain and her Empire. YMCA huts were built to provide soldiers with food and a place to rest on the frontline or at home in military camps and railway stations, and films were shown in designated YMCA cinema huts or in mobile cinema units. Films became a central mode of entertainment for British servicemen serving on the Western Front and the Mediterranean, and were normally shown as part of the concert party programme. This paper will show how and why the relatively new medium of film became an essential element of concert parties at home and abroad, analysing the extent to which the films shown by the YMCA were influenced by their mission to educate, as well as entertain, British troops serving in the First World War.

Dr. Hanna has published widely on The Great War and is author of The Great War on the Small Screen: Representing the First World War in Contemporary Britain was published by Edinburgh University Press in November 2009.

All welcome!

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