Come along to this lunchtime talk about Francis Buckley and the history of the South Pennines.
Francis Buckley was a remarkable man. During the First World War Francis served on the Western Front, and experienced action at a roll-call of key engagements. He served as a pioneer and intelligence officer. But what made Francis exception was not his military experiences, but what he was doing at the same time. Francis had stumbled onto one of the richest archaeological landscapes in Europe, a key landscape for archaeologists studying the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic stone age societies. In the mud of Flanders the trenches criss-crossed a landscape and threw up ancient stone tools. But Buckley’s archaeological practice on the trenches was more than an academic exercise, it provided relief against the brutality of war.
Returning home to Greenfield, Francis sought respite from his experiences in ‘flinting’ trips up onto the Moors. The collection he amassed is perhaps one of the most important assembled by any individual in Britain, and Francis’s findings were extremely important in the development of academic archaeology at Cambridge University. However, Francis’s importance has been under-valued in part because he dispersed his collection of stone tools. He was a man ahead of his times, who lived through the most remarkable experiences.
This talk will present Francis’s experiences on the Western Front and his role in uncovering the hidden history of the Pennines.