Meet at Dawn Unarmed

at Exeter Hall and via Zoom online

This is a Hybrid meeting with the talk starting at 8pm (UK Time) – Hall doors will open at 7:30pm and the Zoom meeting will start at 7:55pm
Cover of Andrew Hamilton's book Meet at Dawn Unarmed
Speaker: Andrew Hamilton

Talk Summary:  His talk ‘Meet at Dawn Unarmed’ is based on his grandfather Captain Robert Hamilton’s diary account of his experiences with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the first five months of the Great War – he was a good friend of Bernard Montgomery and the famous cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather, so humour plays an important part in the talk. Andrew covers the events leading up to the Christmas Truce and the reasons it took place. His detailed description of the iconic event is based on over 20 contemporary accounts which paint an evocative picture of what happened and help to answer the eternal (and infernal) question ‘Was an international football match played in No Man’s Land between English and German soldiers?’ On social media every Christmas he debates the authenticity of claims that football matches were played in many sectors of the Western Front.

Speaker background: Andrew’s interest in the Great War was inspired by the discovery of his grandfather’s diary which chronicled famously his involvement in the Christmas Truce of 1914. Andrew has co-authored four books about the war, two about the Truce– Meet at Dawn, Unarmed (described by Great War historian Richard Holmes as a ‘stupendous effort) and We Good, We No Shoot.  Stolen Lives is a collection of 50 biographies of people of interest who fell during the War, and Where are the Boys? is a study of the fateful first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916.  He gives popular talks based on each of the four books. He is now considered a leading expert on the Christmas Truce.  There was much TV, Radio and newspaper interest in the centenary of the Christmas Truce in 2014 and Andrew’s grandfather’s diary was used for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of ‘The Christmas Truce’ and the infamous Sainsbury’s advert.

Andrew taught History for 20 years, ran a watermill and tearooms attraction in Warwickshire and is now involved in the management of the Walton Estate. He has just retired as Chair of Moreton Morrell Real Tennis Club after 20 years and was on the game’s national body. In the dim and distant past he played cricket briefly for the Warwickshire 2nd team.

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