First World War Talks

Delve deeper into the forgotten story of First World War ambulance trains with our series of fascinating talks and hands-on events. Inspired by the museum’s ground-breaking new exhibition, join a wide range of expert speakers as they explore life on board these hospitals on wheels.

Thursday 29 September

Researching the First World War in Explore York’s Archives

Join archivist Laura Yeoman for an introduction to Explore York’s extensive First World War archives. Learn how you can access them yourself, to find out more about your family history and connections to the First World War.
11am-12noon | Evening Star Theatre | £3 pp

Ambulance Trains: Uncovering Forgotten Stories

Our archivist Alison Kay reveals how National Railway Museum experts uncovered the forgotten stories of First World War ambulance trains. Learn more about the millions of soldiers transported via ambulance trains through real-life accounts of life on board.
2-3pm | Evening Star Theatre | £3pp

Friday 30 September

The Order of St. John and the Early Ambulance Trains

Paul Gwilliam tells the extraordinary story of Colonel G. A. Moore who, with limited resources and against overwhelming odds, singlehandedly arranged safe passage back to Britain for 67,000 wounded soldiers before the commission of Britain’s first ambulance trains.
11am-12noon | Evening Star Theatre | £3pp

From Country Vicarage to Frontline Nurse

Learn about the wartime experiences of First World War nurse Kate Luard in this illustrated talk given by her great-nephew, Tim Luard. A former BBC correspondent, Tim will recount Kate’s time working on ambulance trains and in casualty clearing stations – as close as any woman could get to the front line.
2-3pm | Evening Star Theatre | £3pp

Saturday 1 October

The Secret History of the National Railway Museum’s Ambulance Carriage

Tim Procter explores the little-known story of the carriage at the heart of the National Railway Museum’s new Ambulance Trains exhibition. From its initial deployment as a prestige dining car through hauling injured American GIs and the Queen herself, learn the fascinating history that led to its current incarnation as WW1 Ambulance Train Number 24.
11am-12noon | Evening Star Theatre | £3pp

The High Roads of the War: Nurses’ Work on Ambulance Trains in the First World War (1914-1918)

Christine Hallett is a UK expert on Nursing in the First World War. Here, she examines the ever-changing roles of the skilled nurses who worked tirelessly to care for injured soldiers on board crowded ambulance trains throughout the War.
2-3pm | Evening Star Theatre | £3pp

On each of the three days, there will be free object handling sessions and film screenings between the two talks (12noon-2pm).