Events to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1

Events to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1
Music & Poetry
War Requiem
The Very Revd Roger Bush introduces Truro
Cathedral’s commemoration programme
August 4th this year sees the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World
War. Those who went to war in that hot summer had no idea, of course, just what a
cataclysmic event it would turn out to be.
Over the next four years there will be many commemorative events marking significant
moments during the war, but specifically in August and November this year, Truro
Cathedral will be holding a series of talks, displays and concerts that focus on many
aspects of the War and its significance: this series will include involving schools in
telling the story of the War from local standpoints, the showing of films which have a First World War theme,
the recitation of War poetry, and lectures by people with distinguished careers in theology, history and
public affairs.
We hope to show that the War had many faces, and that engagement with the War is something that still
resonates with many people today. I hope you will find something of interest in what follows.
The War did leave lasting consequences, and we hope that what the Cathedral is offering will explore
something of the horror, the courage and the determination of people not to be overcome by despair that
the War consistently evokes in our imagination.
Bach’s B Minor Mass
Monday 4th August at 7.30pm
Marking the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, the St Endellion Festival
Orchestra and Chorus join forces with Truro Cathedral for a special performance of
one of the greatest choral works ever written: Bach’s Mass in B minor. Conducted by
rising star Ryan Wigglesworth, and with an international team of soloists comprising
Sophie Bevan, Mary Bevan, Pamela Helen Stephen, Mark Padmore, Matthew Brook,
this concert promises to be one of the highlights of the WW1 commemorative events.
Tickets from the Hall For Cornwall Box Office: 01872 262466
Candlelit Prayer Vigil for Peace
Monday 4th August (10pm – 11pm)
Truro Cathedral will be holding a silent prayer vigil from 10pm until 11pm. At 11pm, the
time at which this country declared war a hundred years ago, there will be a short service
asking for God’s forgiveness and guidance. You are very welcome to join us, for a few
moments or for the whole hour, for this candlelit vigil.
“Martyrs as really as St Stephen was a Martyr”?
Commemorating the dead of World War One
Thursday 25th September 7 for 7.30pm start
Truro Theological Society present a lecture by Professor John Wolffe (Oxford University).
The title of this lecture comes from a sermon by the Bishop of London, Arthur WinningtonIngram, preached early in the First World War, reflecting a widespread clerical impulse
to frame the memory of the war dead in a Christian context set against an influential
secular nationalist construction of their sacrifice. The other focus of the lecture will be on
the steps taken to commemorate the dead and controversies over the design of cemeteries
and headstones. It will be shown how in the face of significant pressure for secular forms
of commemoration, church leaders were successful in securing significant compromises,
but in so doing engendered an enduring ambiguity between Christianity and nationalism.
Tickets £4 (includes glass of wine) in advance from the Cathedral Office,
14 St Mary’s Street, Truro, TR1 2AF, 01872 276782 or on the door
Cornwall Remembers...
A series of exhibitions will mark the centenary of the start of World War One
Cornwall’s Schools Remember: Personal stories and
reflections from the First World War
15th July – 21 November
Pupils from schools throughout Cornwall have been busy researching the impact World
War One had on their families, local communities and Cornwall as a whole. Information
has been gathered from various sources including interviews, visits to WW1 sites and
Cornwall Record Office. The pupil’s response to these experiences both artistically and
philosophically form the basis of this exhibition, in a sense it is one young generation
talking to another, separated by a century.
10-5pm (Mon-Sat), 12-4pm (Sun), Free.
Opening the Gates of Hell
1st August – 15th August
An exhibition of paintings by Phil Whiting marking the hundredth anniversary of the
start of World War One. Phil Whiting writes, “Some dates in History are overwhelmingly
significant : 4th August, 1914 - the start of the Great War is one such date. It was not
simply the start of a world war but was the start of a descent into barbarity which lead
to the Gulags, Nanking, Auschwitz and Hiroshima and did not end until the Cold War
and the birth of the United Nations in the 1940s. My exhibition, of paintings and text,
will hopefully provide a salutary reminder of what might happen next, through further
exposing the scars of what happened in the four years which followed 4th August, 1914
- the date humanity clearly and willingly opened the gates of Hell.”
10-5pm (Mon-Sat), 12-4pm (Sun), Free.
No Man’s Land: A triptych created by Roy Ray
Monday 20 October – Saturday 15 November
During the Great War, No Man’s Land was the link between opposing trenches and the
killing ground for both sides. It also became the improbable meeting place for soldiers
during the Christmas truce of 1914. Often a barren wasteland devoid of vegetation,
pitted with shell holes and shrouded in barbed wire, it became the horrific canvas for the
mechanical slaughtering of millions of young men. The artist explores the nature of this
common ground, wrestling with his own emotions and responses and creating a unique
and visually stunning testament to the sacrifice of all involved.
10-5pm (Mon-Sat), 12-4pm (Sun), Free.
Trenches: A series of World War One ‘constructions’ by Roy Ray
Monday 20 October – Saturday 15 November
Using fragments of letters, poems, artefacts and the detritus of trench life, Roy Ray creates
a poignant reminder of the lost generations from both sides.
10-5pm (Mon-Sat), 12-4pm (Sun), Free.
Cornwall Remembers...
Three eminent speakers and writers take three different approaches to
understanding the lessons of World War One
Remembering the Great War: tracks and tricks
Lecture given by Michael Portillo, former Defence Secretary
Monday 3rd November at 7pm
Michael Portillo will examine how the outbreak of war in 1914 postponed a civil war in
Ireland and a general strike, and attracted most suffragettes to vigorous support of the
government’s war effort. It was a railway war. Railways precipitated a mechanised
war. They were the conveyor belt for men to the trenches and for the shells intended to
annihilate them. Railways determined how the war was fought, the outcome of battles,
and arguably the outcome of the war itself. The British people were motivated by the
plight of Belgium and the fear of German imperialism. But after the war, the British started
to think that the war had been futile and they had been the victims of propaganda. The
Germans’ denial of war guilt played an important part in the rise of Adolf Hitler.
Tickets £10 from Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466 or on the door.
War and the problem of suffering
Lecture given by Professor Paul Fiddes (Oxford University)
Tuesday 4th November at 7pm
War raises the problem of human suffering in an acute way. The aim of this lecture is to
develop a theological response to suffering in our own lives today, including the impact
of war but not restricted to this experience. The argument is grounded in the witness
of poets of the First World War, expressing actual human experience of war with a
particular intensity. The belief that God suffers with us offers needed consolation and the
possibility of giving meaning to our own human stories, two themes that are painfully and
poignantly explored by the poets of war.
Tickets £10 from Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466 or on the door.
Rethinking the First World War in 21st century Britain:
opportunities and obstacles
Lecture given by Dr Catriona Pennell
(Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter)
Thursday 6th November 7pm
Reviewing how historians have written about the First World War and how that has
evolved over time, Dr Pennell explores the ‘revisionist’ framework currently used to view
the war and how public memory and perceptions have similarly altered. She ends the
lecture with some of her own reflections of where the British public is ‘up to’ regarding
popular memory of the war. What can be said as we move into the centenary period?
What are her hopes for the centenary in terms of what it will allow for ‘rethinking’?
Tickets £10 from Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466 or on the door.
Special Ticket Deals
o All three lectures for £25 (half price for students)
o One film + lecture £12 (half price for students)
War Requiem
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem is a fitting culmination of our
week of commemoration
Britten’s War Requiem
Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th November at 7.30pm
Britten’s War Requiem was commissioned to mark the consecration of Coventry’s new
Cathedral in 1962, the original having been totally destroyed by bombing in WW2.
Such vast resources are needed in this work that performances are rare, and it has not
been heard live in Cornwall for 27 years. Britten uses Wilfred Owen’s WWI poetry, sung
by tenor and baritone soloists accompanied by a chamber orchestra, juxtaposed with
Latin words from the Requiem Mass, sung by the choir and soprano soloist, accompanied
by a huge orchestra. The work also includes a separate part for a boys’ choir which will
be taken by the Cathedral Choristers. Mark Padmore, Elizabeth Llewellyn and Gavan
Ring are soloists of international renown who will bring exceptional presence to the
performance. The War Requiem offers an unforgettably powerful musical experience,
and a profoundly moving commemoration to victims of war.
Tickets £15-£21 from Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466,uk
Pre concert talk. Title: War and Peace in
Britten’s Britain
John Bridcut in conversation with Petroc Trelawny
Saturday 8th November at 6pm in the Cathedral Chapter House
This introduction to Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem explores both the text and the music
of the work that, more than any other, cemented Britten’s international reputation. The
composer conceived it as a European project, and yet much of its strength derives from
the rarity of the requiem in the British tradition, the particular British responses to the
slaughter of the First World War, and of course the powerful English poetry of Wilfred
Tickets £10 must be bought in advance as Chapter House has limited
capacity. From Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466
Seminar on Britten’s War Requiem
A half-day Seminar presented by Christopher Gray and Russell Pascoe
in Truro School Chapel
Saturday 4th October 10am – 1pm (Registration from 9.30am)
The seminar will explain how the vast performing forces of the War Requiem are used
and why Britten chose to incorporate Wilfred Owen’s poetry into the Latin requiem mass.
It will look at the historical circumstances leading to the commissioning of the work for the
consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962 (the original having been destroyed
in a World War II bombing raid), and will explore the pacifism of Britten, the pacifism of
Owen, and how their arts collide in the War Requiem. The seminar will consider where
the War Requiem sits in the grand Requiem tradition, together with analysis of Britten’s
unsettling music, how the work was received, and its legacy. Bring a packed Lunch.
To book a place, pick up a form in the cathedral or online and send cheque for £12 made out
to Three Spires Singers. Further information from Jenny Young, 07817
Cornwall Remembers...
Films play a major role in shaping modern memory and perceptions of history.
Enjoy three classic films about WW1 on the Cathedral’s BIG screen!
All Quiet on the Western Front (PG)1930
Tuesday 4th November 9.15pm
Oscar winning adaption of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel of the same name. A young
German soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World
War I. Directed by Lewis Milestone, starring Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray,
Arnold Lucy and Ben Alexander.
Tickets £5 from Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466 or on the door.
Gallipoli (PG) 1981
Wednesday 5th November 9.15pm
A Peter Weir film starring Mel Gibson and Mark Lee as two idealistic young friends who
join the Australian army during World War I and fight the doomed Battle of Gallipoli in
Tickets £5 from Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466 or on the door.
Regeneration (15) 1997
Thursday 6th Nov at 9.15pm
BAFTA-Award-nominated film adaptation of the Booker award-winning novel of the
same name by Pat Barker, directed by Gillies MacKinnon. It stars Jonathan Pryce as Dr
William Rivers, who treated World War I officers suffering from shell shock. It follows the
treatment of friends Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon and raises profound questions
about the nature war and its impact on humanity.
Tickets £5 from Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466 or on the door.
Special Ticket Deals
o All three films for £12
o One film + lecture £12 (half price for students)
Poems, Songs and Music
Never such Innocence again: Poems of the First World War
Monday 3rd – Friday 7th November (10am – 4pm)
Former English teacher Simon Price has selected 35 poems, one to be read in the
Cathedral on the hour (10am-4pm) through the week. His aim has been to reflect as wide
a range as possible of the human experiences and responses to the so-called Great War:
the big themes of pity, horror, grief, anger and bitterness, but also some tiny moments of
humour or hope or beauty.
Yesterday Lost:
Poems, Songs and War Letters - Ivor Gurney 1890-1937
Wednesday 5th November 7.00pm
A collection of songs and words to honour the memory of Ivor Gurney and his generation,
reflecting three phases in his life with Jonathan Carne and Naomi Johnston.
First, the early influences: pre-war Gloucester where he grew up; the countryside which
was a source of visionary inspiration; his scholarship to the Royal College of Music where
he became an awkward yet brilliant student and showed early signs of genius.
Next, the First World War and the torment of trench warfare and army discipline: a time
when Gurney’s musical utterance became crystalline and the voice of a unique war poet
Finally, the aftermath of war. Invalided out of the army, with his best verse and many fine
songs yet to write, Gurney drifted from casual work back to the College and eventually
into a long and harrowing mental decline.
Tickets £10 from Hall For Cornwall, 01872 262466 or on the door.
Organ Recital
Friday 7th November at 1.10pm
The Great War’s shadow was cast on the organ lofts of England just as in every other
sphere. This recital will explore its effects on the music and personalities of the early 20th
Century British music world. Performed by Luke Bond, Assistant Director of Music.
Free with retiring collection
Working on NO MAN’S LAND
Thursday 13 November at 7pm
An evening of stories, music and poetry featuring Roy Ray, Katie Kirk and Annie Henry.
Both poignant and heart-warming ‘Working on NO MAN’S LAND’ engages the
audience using Roy’s warmth and natural humour to explore our shared experience of
war and conflict. The punctuation of poems and songs lead the audience to reflect on
their own memories and responses to conflict. Refreshments available.
Tickets £5 Send SAE and cheque made out to ‘Truro Cathedral’ to Truro
Cathedral Office, 14 St Mary’s Street, TRURO, TR1 2AF.
Tues 15 July Mon-Sat 10-5pm
Cornwall’s Schools Remember
to Sat 22 Nov
Sun 12-4pm
Fri 1 to 15 Aug
Mon-Sat 10-5pm
Opening The Gates Of Hell
Sun 12-4pm
Mon 4 Aug
Bach’s B Minor Mass
Mon 4 Aug
Candlelit Prayer VIgil
Sat 6 Sept
Honour Over Glory: 100 years in Music
and Verse
Thurs 25 Sept
19.00 for ‘Martyrs as really as St Stephen
19.30 start
was a martyr?’
Sat 4 Oct
Seminar on War Requiem with Christopher
Gray (Musical Director) and Russell Pascoe
Mon 20 Oct - Mon-Sat 10-5pm
No Man’s Land Tryptych - Roy Ray
Sat 15 Nov
Sun 12-4pm
Mon 20 Oct - Mon-Sat 10-5pm
Trenches Exhibition
Sat 15 Nov
Sun 12-4pm
Mon 3 to 10-4pm
War Poems on the Hour
Friday 7 Nov
Mon 3 Nov
Tues 4 Nov
Lecture: Prof. PAUL FIDDES
Tues 4 Nov
Film: All Quiet on the Western Front (PG)
Wed 5 Nov
Yesterday Lost: Ivor Gurney
Wed 5 Nov
Film: Gallipoli (PG)
Thurs 6 Nov
Thurs 6 Nov
Film: Regeneration (15)
Fri 7 Nov
Organ Recital
Sat 8 Nov
Pre Concert Talk - John Bridcut and Petroc
Sat 8 Nov
War Requiem
Sun 9 Nov
Remembrance Service inc. Fauré Requiem
Sun 9 Nov
Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance
Sun 9 Nov
War Requiem performance
Thur 13 Nov
Working on NO MAN’S LAND
War Requiem
Worship &
Adults £4
U18 Free,
Stu £2
£12 inc.
Coffee &
£15, £18
£15, £18
& £21
HfC = Hall for Cornwall Box Office
01872 262 466
TC = Truro Cathedral Office
01872 276 782
TSS = Three Spires Singers
(see page 5 for contact details)