In January 1917 the 62nd Division went to France – a second line territorial unit, it had no experience of the realities of the Western Front and its first engagements were disastrous. By 1918 it was acknowledged to be one of the most reliable and aggressive units in the army. This talk looks in great detail at how one battalion of the 62nd changed in its tactics, weapons and the skills of its officers and men through that period. It uses the detailed orders, war diaries, letters, aerial recce photos, contemporary panoramas and modern day battlefield photos to set out the development of the 2/5th West Yorks from Bullecourt through Cambrai, the March Offensive and Second Marne.
Fraser is a former TA officer and the author of “Massacre on the Marne” the Battalion history of the 2/5th West Yorkshire Regiment. When he is not studying the Great War and visiting battlefields he runs a specialist consulting company in the development of new medicines.