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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.

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The Free Thinking Festival Essay - Kilts, Celts and Clearances in World War One

November 13th, 2015

Episode 1058 of 1219 episodes

Thousands of soldiers fought in kilted regiments during the First World War. But what kind of cultural identity was adopted with the kilt? How far was it pervaded by a fatalistic sense of the Celt who ‘went forth to the war but … always fell’, or by the memory of the Highland Clearances? Peter Mackay of the University of St Andrews explores poetry and first-hand accounts from the war to find out. The New Generation Thinkers are the winners of an annual scheme run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics at the start of their careers who can turn their research into fascinating broadcasts. The Essay was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. If you want to hear Peter Mackay discussing his research you can download The Essay and conversation as an Arts and Ideas podcast.

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