Between 1914 and 1918, young people fought and fell on the battlefield in unprecedented numbers. Our event captures the voices of those who survived the conflict and returned to study at college or university, supported by the first government grants for higher education. The scheme for  ex-service students helped individuals who would have otherwise been unable to afford higher education, and boosted the numbers in the universities. While mourning the fallen, this generation built a student movement that promoted internationalist and pacifist ideas, including through founding the National Union of Students (NUS) in 1922.

Our event is based on a project involving the North East Heritage Branch of the Workers’ Educational Association, the National Union of Students (NUS) and academics from London and the North East of England. It will feature short talks by historians Georgina Brewis, Sarah Hellawell and Daniel Laqua as well as performance elements developed in cooperation with current students.