The history of sport and the military in this week’s podcast brought to you by the British Society of Sport History in association with the Institute of Historical Research with Professor Gary Sheffield of the University of Wolverhampton talking about sport and the military during World War 1.
Gary is one of the UK’s leading historians of the First World War and it was a real pleasure to talk to him about the relationship between sport and pastoral care on the Western Front and Gallipoli during WW1. We also discuss how he was inspired to take an interest in history by reading a Ladybird book as a child, which was a small step on the way to academia and his first teaching post at Sandhurst Military Academy.
We also talk about two hotly contested historical issues – the necessity of Britain going to war in 1914 to defend liberal democracy in Western Europe and the hoary chestnut of whether a football match took place between British and German troops on Christmas Day 1914.
Gary is active in the Football and War Network, a network made up of historians of war with an interest in football, and football club historians. It aims to brings together historians from the academic and football worlds so that for the first time all the academic, practitioner and fan research centred around football, war and history can link up.
Back in London we’ll continue the German theme at our next seminar at the IHR on Monday 2nd December, which will feature Professor Kay Schiller of Durham University talking about the Jewish German sprinter, Alex Nathan. Go to the seminar homepage for more information and details of the venue.
Professor Gary Sheffield is the co-director, with Professor Stephen Badsey, of the First World War Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, and he specialises in the history of Britain at war in the first half of the twentieth century. He is one of the nation’s foremost historians of the First World War and was one of the historians consulted about how to commemorate the War’s centenary years from 2014. Major works include ‘Forgotten Victory: The First World War – Myths and Realities’ (Headline, 2001), ‘The Somme: A New History’ (Cassell Military Paperbacks, 2004) and ‘Douglas Haig: From Somme to Victory’ (Aurum Press, 2016). He is currently engaged on writing a book on the British and Dominion armies in the two world wars.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).