Hear about Walking the Western Front Way at University of Buckingham public lecture

Former university vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon is returning to Buckingham to give a free public talk on his adventures on the commemorative walk

There's a chance to hear how the University of Buckingham' s former vice-chancellor was rushed to hospital with dehydration, bitten by a farm dog and lost in a forest in France, when Sir Anthony Seldon returns to deliver a free public lecture.

Sir Anthony is coming back to Buckingham for the first time since he stood down over a year ago, to talk about his epic walk along the Western Front Way in honour of fallen soldiers.

His successor, the current vice-chancellor James Tooley, has invited Sir Anthony to talk to students, staff and residents about his 1,000km pilgrimage to raise awareness about the "path for peace", in the hope of encouraging others to do sections of the walk, or even the entire walk, to commemorate the war dead.

Sir Anthony at the start of the walk

The talk, Walk for Peace: Walking the 1,000km Western Front, is at 7pm on Thursday, February 10, in the Vinson Centre, on Hunter Street.

The walk was envisaged by 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Gillespie, who wrote a letter during the First World War saying every "man, woman and child" should walk along the tree-lined route he called a "via sacra" - route for peace.

Shortly after writing the letter, Gillespie was killed in action in France.

After stumbling across the letter as part of research for a book on private schools in the war years, Sir Anthony began a campaign to get the walk recognised.

A signpost along the Western Front Way

The walk now has signage and tourist information offices have details of the route.

Sir Anthony visited many war graves and museums about the war along his walk.

He has said the worst moments were suffering from dehydration and almost passing out, getting a nasty dog bite and getting lost in a French forest.

Sir Anthony did much of the walk on his own but was joined by members of The Western Front Way, the voluntary organisation which has backed his idea and turned it into an actual route, and others, including his fiancee Sarah Sayer.

The end of the walk

He said: "I honestly couldn't have walked another step - I was totally exhausted.

"I was shocked by how commemorative war sites had fallen into disrepair.

"It is vital future generations learn the lessons of the past and honour the war dead.

"I want as many people as possible to do part of this walk to appreciate the sacrifices that were made.

In an ambulance in France, suffering from dehydration

"Beginning your day with birdsong and country views is deeply calming.

"As well as being an educational route, the scenery along the way is just so beautiful."

You can register for the free talk here.