Dr. John Goodyear: “The First World War: A Family Affair”

Einladung zu einem Vortrag in englischer Sprache
Thursday, 7th December 2017 at 7 pm

Clubhaus ETUF Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße 204A, 45133 Essen

Today we are on the threshold of a year, when we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice on 11th November 1918, which effectively ended the carnage of the Great War. It was mainly albeit not only fought in the trenches of Belgium and France. Today these nations are members of the European community which is dedicated to preserving the peace for us and hopefully for the generations to come. So the following lecture will focus on the fate of a family deeply affected by that war. It is a fitting theme both for our DeutschEnglische Gesellschaft Ruhr and for Christmas, the feast of peace.

In June 1915 an article appeared in the English regional newspaper Midland Chronicle entitled “West Bromwich Man with Eight Sons and Grandsons at the Front”. It tells of a story of a Crimean War Veteran whose principal male members of the family were serving, in one capacity or another, in France and on different fronts around the world. The newspaper article and its accompanying text about an unknown family in a lesser-known part of Britain go to show the global extent of the First World War, but also how the conflict had an “impact on every community and every family in our country” (David Cameron).

The newspaper article in question has a particular relevance because the West Bromwich man in question, Mr. Francis Smith, was none other than the great-great-great grandfather of Dr. Goodyear. In this lecture, Dr. Goodyear will look back at the conflict through his own family’s experience, sharing some of the memorabilia and stories that have been passed down to him. The conflict will be presented through the lens of Dr. Goodyear’s family history in a reflective personal genealogy account and aims to support the argument that the First World War “changed everything” in Britain, not least because “it was the first war that involved the whole population of this country” (Paxman).

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Dr. John Goodyear (34) is a leading exponent in Anglo-German cultural relations.
He studied German in Birmingham and London. His Bachelor thesis Navalismus: Zur Rolle der deutschen Flotte im Kaiserreich won the German Embassy Prize from Aston University in 2003. The thesis analyzed the role of the German fleet prior to the outbreak of World War I. John is now Director of Studies at the Academy of English in Oldenburg, Vice Chairman of the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft in Oldenburg and Senior Editor for Global China Insights at the Groningen Confucius Institute in the Netherlands. Internationally active, he regularly gives talks on Anglo-German cultural themes, including in the United Kingdom, the United States, the Republic of Ireland, Germany and Pakistan. In 2014, he also acted as an Englishspeaking tour guide around the Als die Royals aus Hannover kamen exhibition in Hanover.

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Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der

VIJO Clubgastronomie im ETUF
Vincenzo Bonelli
Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße 204a, 45133 Essen


Sie erreichen das Clubhaus des ETUF mit der S-Bahnlinie S6 Richtung Köln-Düsseldorf, Haltestelle Essen-Hügel; mit dem Auto, indem Sie dem Hinweisschild ‚Baldeneysee’ bis zur Freiherr-vom-Stein Straße folgen. Bitte benutzen Sie den großen öffentlichen Parkplatz direkt an der Hauptstraße und nicht den Parkplatz vor dem Clubhaus.