Chris Kempshall

University of Sussex
My DPhil research focuses on the relationships and interactions between British and French soldiers on the Western Front during the First World War. It draws from soldiers’ diaries and other first-hand accounts to examine the, often complicated, encounters between the frontline men of these two nations who have historically been enemies and now are committed allies. I'm also an Associate Tutor at the University of Sussex where I have taught and lectured on the course 'Time and Place: 1916 - The Somme'. Other interests in regards to the First World War focus largely on the notion of the 'myth of the war' and its reinvention over the 20th century. I am currently a member of both the International Society for First World War Studies and the Society for the Study of French History.

The First World War Centenary: Giving the people what they want?

After what’s seemed like a fair old wait the ‘official’ plans for the commemoration of the First World War centenary have been released in the last few weeks (if you’ve missed out on them you can find out more here). … Continue reading

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Christmas in the trenches

One of the enduring (and indeed endearing) images is the First World War is the famous ‘Christmas Truce’ of 1914. What began as the lighting of candles in the trenches grew to French, German and British soldiers sought each other … Continue reading

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An interactive First World War?

What with the newly released (and excellent) Exploring the War Underground simulator that can be found on this website (and if you haven’t tried it yet go and do so now; I’ll wait) I wanted to discuss some of the … Continue reading

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Poppies and the politics of remembrance.

With the 100th anniversary of the war drawing ever closer now and having entered November I wanted to use this post to discuss the modern memorial process of the war. To be clear from the start this isn’t intended to … Continue reading

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What makes a ‘World’ War?

This is a slight continuation from my previous post regarding the dominant British views of the war to the exclusion of other nations. The term ‘First World War’ or indeed ‘World War One’ trips off the tongue quite easily; it … Continue reading

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Forgetting the French

One of the ongoing discussions (or controversies depending on your viewpoint) regarding the First World War focuses on its global nature. Specifically regarding the dominant view of the Western Front above all else that was happening elsewhere between 1914-1918. This … Continue reading

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