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Sponsorship for the Butte de Warlencourt restoration project

Sponsorship for the Butte de Warlencourt restoration project

A major project to restore one of the Somme battlefields most famous sites has seen donations to the cost of the restorations being made by two well known Dundee companies.

The project to restore the Butte de Warlencourt on the Somme battlefields, which is owned by the Western Front Association, is being led by Dundee-based Bob Paterson, the WFA's European Officer. The site of the Butte de Warlencourt saw the limit of the British advance at the end of the Battle of the Somme in November 1916.

Dundee Timber preservation company Intona ltd and Dundee-based Solicitor Michael Brown have both made donations to the restoration fund. Explaining his decision Ron Mitchell, Director of Intona, explained 'preservation is key to the daily activities of our daily business and we see preservation of such an important site being part of the country's heritage. We are delighted to assist in some way'. Michael Brown solicitor stated 'I have been to the First World War battlefields several times and know the Butte well. What Bob and The Western Front Association are doing there is brilliant. They deserve our support'.

The picture shows Ron Mitchell of Intona (left) and Michael Brown (right) presenting the donation cheques to Bob Paterson of the Western Front Association.

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 February 2014 21:56 )

 

National Stedfast Association Boys' and Girls' Brigade Drum and Bugle Band

National Stedfast Association Boys' and Girls' Brigade Drum and Bugle Band

The members of the Bugles and Drums of the Stedfast Association (BADOTSA) were delighted to receive a grant recently from the WFA's Centenary Fund towards the cost of their planned trip to Belgium later this year. The small grant will be used to give some financial support to assist younger members of the band to attend. Our thanks are extended to the WFA for their generosity.

The band is made up of ex-Boys' and Girls' Brigade members whose ages range from 18 to 80 years and who play bugles, drums, bell lyres and cymbals.

You can view more information about us on our website which covers our plans for the trip mentioned above.

The band will be happy to accept engagements (as appropriate and diary permitting) from anyone planning some sort of event in the next few years. Costs negotiable but usually expenses only. A calendar of events may be found on the website to assist you.

We have 3 regional sets of players (London and South; West and Wales; North and East) and can provide a band of any size given due notice.

In particular we can help with Buglers and should any group be planning to be in Flanders during our tour period, from 30 August to 1 September 2014, then they are welcome to parade with us. A full itinerary for that trip may be found on the website as well as contact details.

Flt Lt Paul Hern RAF (Retd)

National Coordinator, BADOTSA

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 17 January 2014 16:56 )

The release of the Filmed not Forgotten archive

Context

http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/video/3512-filmed-and-not-forgotten-a-project-from-the-yorkshire-film-archive.html

http://www.yorkshirefilmarchive.com/content/filmed-and-not-forgotten-lottery-funding-research-yorkshire-first-world-war-soldiers-friends

The Western Front Association is delighted that The Yorkshire Film archive has made available superb footage of troops prior to their departure for France in 1915.

Moving (movie) images from the First World War are quite rare, and those that are available are of varying quality. What the Yorkshire Film Archive has put into the public domain is a large amount of footage of excellent quality showing what seems to be territorial (or "weekend") soldiers prior to their embarkation for France in Easter 1915.

One of the clips shows an inspection of the men by high ranking officers, and another of the battalion's officers posing for the cameraman. It would be intriguing to use lip-readers to see if any of the (silent) footage can be "heard" - this technique has been used on other footage and would add another dimension to the already superb footage.

The 1/5th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment (which recruited heavily from Rotherham) was soon in the front line trenches, firstly on the French/Belgian border, before moving up to the infamous Ypres salient in the summer of 1915 as part of the 49th (West Riding) Division. It is possible some of the men shown here were involved in the battalion's first major action on 10 July 1915. The battalion was attacked by German infantry - artillery shell fire and gas were also used. The battalion lost about 30 men killed plus many more wounded in this first major encounter with the Germans.

This superb footage is a tribute to the men from the battalions who were killed in this and later actions.

Other footage shows the sister battalion (the 1/4th Y&Ls) - known as the Hallamshires - marching through their home town of Sheffield in November 1914, prior to leaving for further training in the UK. Both battalions were heavily involved in fighting for the rest of the war, ending up in the little-known Battle of Valenciennes in November 1918.

To be able to see the footage of these men prior to their service in the Great War is a privilege and enables us to gain a deeper understanding of this period of our history - something that The Western Front Association was set up to do. The WFA is keen to increase the understanding of the First World War and welcomes applications to join from anyone who wishes to learn more about this fascinating subject.

David Tattersfield

Development Trustee,

The Western Front Association

 

Note for Editors
The Western Front Association (WFA) was formed by eminent Great War historian John Giles in 1980. Our primary aim is furthering interest in The Great War of 1914-1918. We also aim to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those on all sides who served their countries in France and Flanders and in other countries during The Great War.

The WFA, a registered charity, has now grown to some 6,000 members worldwide, with over 50 local branches around the world.. [The Association does not seek to justify or glorify war. We are not a re-enactment society, nor are we commercially motivated. We are entirely non-political. The object of the Association is to educate the public in the history of The Great War with particular reference to the Western Front.]

Applications for membership are warmly welcomed from anyone of a like mind.

Some additional key facts:
· The WFA produces an eminent journal (Stand To!) and a members' Bulletin six times a year.
· Some five years ago, the WFA saved the Great War Medal Index Cards from destruction and has since made them available online via Ancestry.
· The WFA bought the Butte de Warlancourt, a major feature on the Somme Battlefield, in order to prevent its destruction and to preserve it as a memorial.
· The WFA holds its own ceremony at the Cenotaph on Armistice Day - 11 November - every year (except Remembrance Sunday).
· The WFA has digitised large numbers of Great War maps held by the Imperial War Museum. The WFA has contributed resources to digitise Oral History tapes held by the Imperial War Museum.


Website: http://www.westernfrontassociation.com

Contact: David Tattersfield - development@westernfrontassociation.com.

 

The digitisation of unit war diaries

The Western Front Association is delighted that the War Diaries of First World War units are being made available to the public.

These diaries (written by battalion adjutants in accordance with orders) had to be provided on a daily basis to record a unit's activity. Sometimes hand written (and therefore difficult to decipher) and occasionally typed, these are not to be confused with officially banned personal diaries.

The daily entry in the unit's official War Diary may have been a short sentence or sometimes several pages long. Much depended on the officer's (usually the battalion adjutant's) motivation.

Rarely emotional, and hardly ever mentioning soldiers by name, these are nevertheless a vital source of information for individuals wishing to find out "what happened to great uncle Bert". These fragile documents, which have been accessed by historians and researchers at The National Archives (previously the Public Record Office) at Kew for many years, are likely to be much used in the coming years and - the originals having been written on thin paper -  are in many cases suffering from wear and tear.

Whilst it will take some time for the documents to be fully scanned and tagged, it is hoped that the resultant work (volunteers are being asked to read the diaries and "tag" them to enable digital research easier) will enable much more in depth research to be undertaken, as searches under "keywords" should be possible. Nothing can compare to handing these documents themselves - literally "touching history"  - as these documents were often written immediately after battle, in a damp dugout lit only by a few candles, but to have these available on line is a great step forward.

David Tattersfield

Development Trustee,

The Western Front Association


Note for Editors
The Western Front Association (WFA) was formed by eminent Great War historian John Giles in 1980. Our primary aim is furthering interest in The Great War of 1914-1918. We also aim to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those on all sides who served their countries in France and Flanders and in other countries during The Great War.

The WFA, a registered charity, has now grown to some 6,000 members worldwide, with over 50 local branches around the world.. [The Association does not seek to justify or glorify war. We are not a re-enactment society, nor are we commercially motivated. We are entirely non-political. The object of the Association is to educate the public in the history of The Great War with particular reference to the Western Front.]

Applications for membership are warmly welcomed from anyone of a like mind.

Some additional key facts:
· The WFA produces an eminent journal (Stand To!) and a members' Bulletin six times a year.
· Some five years ago, the WFA saved the Great War Medal Index Cards from destruction and has since made them available online via Ancestry.
· The WFA bought the Butte de Warlancourt, a major feature on the Somme Battlefield, in order to prevent its destruction and to preserve it as a memorial.
· The WFA holds its own ceremony at the Cenotaph on Armistice Day - 11 November - every year (except Remembrance Sunday).
· The WFA has digitised large numbers of Great War maps held by the Imperial War Museum. The WFA has contributed resources to digitise Oral History tapes held by the Imperial War Museum.


Website: http://www.westernfrontassociation.com

Contact: David Tattersfield - development@westernfrontassociation.com.

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 January 2014 22:18 )

WFA L&C Chairman Terry Jackson discusses the release of the War Diaries on the BBC

WFA L&C Chairman Terry Jackson discusses the release of the War Diaries on the BBC

WFA Lancashire and Cheshire Branch Chairman Terry Jackson discusses the announcement of the release of the War Diaries today on the BBC.

 


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