IR28

The years 2014-18 mark one hundred years since the First World War. This “war to end all wars” left more than seventeen million people dead from Africa to the Pacific, and yet British efforts to commemorate and remember the conflict have largely excluded the experience of the majority of those affected, focusing instead on Britain and the British people. The commemorative programming of the BBC and the Imperial War Museum embodies a narrative of continuity between the sacrifice of the past and the Britain of today. While such remembrances recognise a part of world history, they do so echoing the nationalist rhetoric that was effective in convincing the British people of the need to wage war in 1914, and that is in danger of doing so again.

In quiet disregard of this rhetoric are the British members of Infantrie Regiment 28 “Von Goeben”, a group of historical reenactors who assume the role of a Musketiers of the Imperial German Army, choosing to identify with people of the past on grounds other than nationality.