June 23, 2014, by H Cotterill

‘Why I changed my name and did my duty’

This Wednesday sees the second of our lunchtime talks held in connection with our current exhibition ‘All Quiet in the Weston Gallery’.


In “Why I changed my name and did my duty”-one family’s experience of World War One, Emeritus Professor Malcolm Jones tells the fascinating story of the three Vince brothers who all enlisted in the armed forces during the war. Using the Vince family as a case study he asks the questions, what made men volunteer, why did they go on fighting amid such appalling slaughter, and how was morale maintained?


The talk will draw on material from the Vince family collection currently on display in the Weston Gallery. The three Vince brothers, Wilfred, Frederic and Leonard, sent numerous letters and postcards home to their families, giving first-hand accounts of the war’s progress. Frederic Vince also kept a diary throughout the war, recording his thoughts and offering an insight into his reasons for fighting. He enlisted as soon as war was declared in August 1914, believing that ‘we must fulfil our pledges’. The diary also tells of some narrow escapes as when, during an attack, he and his companions became isolated within yards of the enemy and a group of German infantry appeared on the crest above them. As Frederic calmly notes “[We were] not captured-all the same we had a job to get away.”


The lunchtime talk takes place in the Djanogly Theatre, Lakeside Arts Centre on Wednesday 25th June at 1pm. To reserve a place please telephone the Box Office on 0115 846 7777.


The exhibition runs in the Weston Gallery until Sunday 17th August.

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