Joe Boyle’s Adventures in the Russian Revolution 11th October 2017
On Wednesday October 11th we were delighted to welcome to the Ulster Museum Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Swain from the University of Glasgow. Since 2006, he has held the Alec Nove chair at the university in Russian and East European Studies and has written extensively on the modern history of Russia and Eastern Europe including biographies of Trotsky and Tito. The lecture he delivered though was about a gentleman with links a little closer to home. Professor Swain began by giving us a bit of background to the adventurous ‘Klondike’ Joe Boyle, whose family were originally from Armagh but had emigrated to Canada where he later joined the Canadian Army during WWI. He described Boyle’s involvement with the new Bolshevik government in 1917, alongside his colleague Hill, and their attempts to keep Russia in the First World War. Tales of daring journeys to return the Romanian crown jewels to Boyle’s work on the Russian railways ensuring the Allied supplies made it to the front, peace treaties and declarations of war between Russia and various nation states vying for freedom, Professor Swain kept us on the edge of our seat with each new development in this thrilling story. Boyle died in 1923 and we were left to wonder if the woman in black who visited his grave was indeed Queen Marie of Romania with whom he was rumoured to have had an affair with. The captivated audience had plenty of questions for Professor Swain who divulged tales of his own uncle who happened to be in Romania at the same time as our eponymous hero Boyle as the lecture came to a close.
The final lecture in our lunchtime series takes place on Thursday November 9th at 1pm in the lecture theatre at the Ulster Museum. The speaker will be John Lee talking about the American Expeditionary Force and how they prepared for war in 1917/18.
Where are the Poppies Now
The Council for British Archaeology Home Front Legacy and Living Legacies 1914-18 First World War Workshops
The ‘Living Legacies 1914-18’ engagement centre is delighted to be working alongside the Council for British Archaeology’s Home Front Legacy team to deliver a series of community workshops aimed at helping community groups learn how to research, record and fund their own First World War projects.
The first of these events was recently held on the 6th of October at the Imperial War Museum site, Duxford. The event was focused on the CBA’s “Home Front Legacy” project and ways of creating new knowledge about the physical impacts the First World War had on local landscapes and their archaeological legacies.
A great introduction to the event and the Home Front in the First World War was provided by Historic England’s Wayne Cocroft.