Messines Symposium 2015

 

 

 

 

Download battlefield tour information (.docx)


Event poster - click to download

Poster Design: Sander Ramaekers at Daystallion: daystallion.blogspot.com 

Katherine Mansfield, Leslie Beauchamp
& World War One

An international symposium to be held at
Mesen/Messines, Belgium
27 September 2015


Keynote Speaker: Dr Gerri Kimber

 

Leslie Heron Beauchamp lost his life in Ploegsteert Wood, close to Messines, on October 6 1915. The young Second Lieutenant serving with the South Lancashire Regiment was just 21 when he was accidentally killed by a malfunctioning grenade while teaching his men how to throw these “bombs”. “Chummie”, as he was known to his family, had just spent two weeks with Mansfield and John Middleton Murry at their home in St John’s Wood, London, while on an army course, ironically on the use of hand grenades. The death of her much-loved younger brother would go on to have a significant impact on Mansfield’s writing, unleashing memories of New Zealand and their shared childhood, which she now felt compelled to record.

This symposium in Messines, commemorating the centenary of Leslie’s death, and close to where he died, aimed to encourage a discussion of his life, his relationship with his sister Katherine, and how her own writing was transformed by his untimely death. 

The symposium took place in the theatre on the second floor of the Old Town Hall at Messines over the weekend of September 26 and 27 and included a visit to Leslie’s grave. The keynote speaker was Dr Gerri Kimber of Northampton University, UK. The organisers are grateful for the support of the Katherine Mansfield Society, the Mesen/Messines Council and the New Zealand Embassy in Brussels.

 Martin O’Connor, symposium organiser:  words@telenet.be

 

Gallery - click images to view large:

Photos courtesy of Martin O’Connor.

Chummie's grave today Irish Peace Tower, Messines The In Flanders Fields bell commemorating Leslie Beauchamp at the National War Memorial Carillon, Wellington (Photo: NZ MCH)

Chummie's grave today

Irish Peace Tower, Messines

The In Flanders Fields bell commemorating Leslie Beauchamp at the National War Memorial Carillon, Wellington (Photo: NZ MCH)

New Zealand Memorial, Messines on the ridge Looking down from the German frontline to the New Zealand frontline, Messines New Zealand Memorial to The Missing, Messines

New Zealand Memorial, Messines on the ridge

Looking down from the German frontline to the New Zealand frontline, Messines

New Zealand Memorial to The Missing, Messines

New Zealanders Street, Messines

New Zealanders Street, Messines