Inspired by the many Käthe Buchler photographs featuring food and food-related activities, Everyday Lives in War organised a ‘Food in Wartime 1914-1920’ workshop on 27 April 2018. This community-focused event included: academics who spoke on food in the trenches, on the home front and the impact of the war on the coffee trade; volunteer researchers from a community project working with young people in Glasgow on a WW1-type allotment. Internationally, the Workshop attracted a German academic who spoke about the Turnip Revolution and malnutrition in Germany, and a Swedish community researcher who shared a long-forgotten story of the women’s so-called Potato Revolution in Sweden 1917. The event allowed for a sensory experience of being ‘transported back in time’ as both lunch and afternoon tea were prepared according to FWW recipes, including Curried Rabbit, Bully Beef Stew & Maconochie Stew. For several visitors, this proved to be a feast for both eyes, nose and pallet, as some were vividly reminded of their childhood.
The Workshop (in particularly the re-creation of a WW1 menu) generated interest from TV’s BBC News London, who covered the event on two slots the same day. Estimated audience: 4.9 million.
The event inspired German participants to develop a similar multi-disciplinary, international conference in Germany the following year.
On 26-28 July 2019, members of the ELIW Centre team participated in ‘Food in Wartime: An International Perspective on Food Supply in World War I’ in Düsseldorf, Germany. The workshop built on Everyday Lives in War’s ‘Food in Wartime, 1914-1920’ event in Hatfield, UK, the previous year.
Participants from Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, Germany and the UK shared and compared research on the Great War and its aftermath, including material on soldiers’ food; experience in occupied and neutral countries; and food deprivation, which was a common denominator.