The University and Colleges are marking the centenary of the First World War with a number of events, talks and exhibitions open to the public to attend.

Up coming events


A film about the history of the First Eastern Hospital during the First World War can be viewed here


Previous events 2015


The University Library held a talk titled 'Obliterated: mapping the Great War'. It discussed how the maps of the Western Front in the Great War depicting trench positions provided a fascinating insight into the dramatic changes inflicted upon the landscape. The speaker explored these changes, the influences they had on those who were there and how they are reflected in the landscape today.


Previous events 2014


From the 1 to the 30 November, Murray Edwards College hosted 'Poppies (Women and ' an exhibition remembering more women in times of war, from World War I to the present day. It combined a portrait series of women whose lives have been affected by war with a botanical series of the red poppy flower (Papaver rhoeas) in its natural environment.

On Friday 7 November there was a public lecture at Selwyn College by Ingrid Sharp, Director Of German, Russian and Slavonic Studies at University of Leeds. 'Beyond our wildest ambitions': German Women's Organisations 1914-1918, which discussed the response of German women's organisations to the first world war. For more information please see here

Saturday 8 November, Great St Mary's had a special heritage event with theatre production “REMEMBER” : 1914 It was Their Time: 2014 It gave Us Ours. For more information on tickets and timings

Remembrance Sunday, Sunday 9 November

The University's Remembrance Service  at 10.55 am at Great St Mary's Church. The preacher was Revd Dr Jeremy Morris.

During the Festival of Ideas, the University Library had a popular exhibition about Siegfried Sassoon, following the digitisation of their collection of Sassoon material in August. There was also a display at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology relating to the Cambridge Zoologist Paul Montague and his work before he was drafted to go to War. The festival also premiered the screening of a new forty minute film featuring historical research in to the First Eastern Hospital.


The annual address of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, on 1 October recognized the loss of the 2,740 members of the University who "made the ultimate sacrifice through their service in the Great War, and whose names are recorded for posterity on memorials in the Colleges and the City. We respect their individual sacrifice and recognise their sense of responsibility to the values of the early 20th century. The sheer scale of the loss was staggering".



Open Cambridge hosted a variety of World War One related events in its heritage programme this year. Dr Kate Kennedy explored the poetry and music of Ivor Gurney, the Society of Cambridge Tourist Guides led a guided walking tour of 'Cambridge in times of war and peace' and many of the Colleges opened up their libraries and gardens for special WW1 related exhibitions. For more information on the full Open Cambridge programme please see here


To mark the 100th Anniversary of the British entry to the First World War, a special service was held at Great St Mary's, the University Church, on Monday, 4 August 2014, including a University and civic procession. This included Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and the Mayor of the City of Cambridge.


On Saturday 8 March, the University's Officer Training Corps visited over 50 war memorials in Cambridgeshire, for 'Cambridge Remembers', photographing memorials and concluding with a service at the War Memorial on Station Road in Cambridge. Thirteen Colleges opened on the morning of 8 March for the public to join in viewing war memorials. It ended at the War Memorial on Hills Road with a short service with representation from the city and county as well as the armed services and schools.


Historian and author Margaret MacMillan, Humanitas Visiting Professor in War Studies at CRASSH, gave a series of lectures in February 2014 about war and society and militarism in Europe before 1914; thinking about war; planning for war; and the nature of World War One itself.


Public events at the University of Cambridge and Colleges, with partner organisations in and around Cambridge, have been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the 'Cambridge Remembers' project