Saturday, 17 April 2021

The British Modern Military History Society

THE British Modern Military History Society is fully up and running but not with the live meetings at Woodcote village hall, which are on hold until the spring, but with twice monthly Zoom talks.

All talks are given by leading historians, writers and former military personnel, and we are sure you will find them interesting and stimulating, particularly with a question and answer sessions at the end.

Our next talk will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, November 11 at 7.30pm. It’s called “No other way: Oxfordshire and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39” and the speaker is Liz Woolley.

In July 1936 right-wing army officers staged a coup against the democratically elected government of Spain, prompting a three-year civil war. More than half a million died, the majority of them civilians, and the conflict became a tragic precursor to the Second World War.

This talk tells the story of how the people of Oxfordshire responded.

More than 30 went to Spain to fight or as doctors and nurses, while thousands more joined in fundraising and awareness-raising campaigns at home.

Still others welcomed and housed hundreds of Basque refugees who had fled to Britain to escape the fighting.

These events accompanied profound political changes, in Oxford in particular, and the uniting of “town” and “gown” in a popular front never seen before in the city.

Liz Woolley is a local historian specialising in aspects of the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire.

She is particularly interested in the history of the city’s “town” and in the everyday lives of rural people across the county, chiefly during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Liz has lived in Oxford since 1984. She completed an MSc in English local history at the University of Oxford’s department for continuing education in 2009, having gained a diploma in the same subject in 2007.

She is an experienced speaker, guide, tutor, researcher and writer who is keen to help individuals and groups to enjoy finding out about the history of their local area.

We hope regular meetings will resume in the spring but this will depend on the covid-19 restrictions. We will also continue Zoom talks even when the meetings start again.

We have a full schedule of speakers for 2021.

For more information, email or visit

Andy Cockeram

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