Motherhood, Loss and the First World War

Event Details

  • Event date: 05/09/2018 – 06/09/2018
  • Venue: Institute of Historical Research

The extraordinary death tolls suffered on the fighting fronts of the First World War gave rise to devastating and unprecedented levels of loss for individuals and communities across Europe and the wider world. Bereavement became so widespread during the conflict that it can rightly be regarded as one of the defining experiences of the war. Historians have had relatively little to say about wartime loss, however, and the bereaved have not been widely acknowledged or remembered during the centenary commemorations of the conflict.

In order to shed light on this much-overlooked theme, a major collaborative conference will be held at the Institute of Historical Research on 5 and 6 September 2018 that will bring historians and community groups together to explore maternal bereavement as a result of the war, an experience that was understood to be particularly painful and difficult to come to terms with.

This conference is organised by Big Ideas, the London Centre for Public History, and the Institute of Historical Research. It is part of ‘Motherhood, Loss and the First World War’, an ongoing community commemoration project led by Big Ideas and funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the National Lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund. Free resources, project ideas and funding are available to involve community groups across the UK in the project. Contact for more information.

To register, visit:

The conference includes entry to our evening events including a live music performance. Details for these events can be found here for the evening lecture, and here for the live music performance.