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Season's Greetings from Bruce Simpson, Chairman of the WFA, December 2013

Season's Greetings from Bruce Simpson, Chairman of the WFA, December 2013

I would first like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2014.

I also thank you all for your support for this fantastic Association, I know that John Giles and John Terraine, to name only two, would be most proud of all that has been achieved.

The Association grows in strength both in the UK and around the world, due in no small part to the dedication of a small but growing band of volunteers that are the branch Chairmen. It is their dedication and time that they give that allows us the opportunity to join together and both be entertained and informed at branch meetings all around the globe. Thank you to all of you.

As we move ever closer to 2014 I am acutely aware that those of us that have had the chance and the honour to meet veterans of 1914 1918 owe them a great debt, in as much as they were willing to tell us what it really was like, and how they coped afterwards was tremendous.

That link, between living history and all of us, has now passed. It is now our task to inform and educate the general population, and particularly certain politicians, that the war these men fought was won by their great determination and skill, and that this was probably the best army that Britain has ever sent abroad, and the British and our Allies defeated the German equivalent. We have made great progress in this field thanks to Peter Simkins, Gary Sheffield and John Bourne, and many more besides, for their determined campaign to get the correct recognition of "The Hundred Days" and to help the Centenary Committee formed by the UK government to understand the significance and how important this is. The WFA will continue to liaise and work with all organisations with an interest in this period so important to our history

I am sure that, if the WFA could produce a device to stop us all throwing things at the TV ever time we hear a comment that relates back to the "Lions led By Donkeys" era, we would make a fortune. But despite what is produced for TV and all other media, I can assure you that the WFA will continue to do what it always has, in supporting those who strive to tell the correct story of what happened and why. Most importantly, we will "Remember".

I would like to close with quotes from John Terraine, and a Sergeant Bill Wilson 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, as found in "Cheerful Sacrifice" the great book on the battle of Arras by Jonathan Nicholls.

Sergeant Bill Wilson:
Let sleeping dogs lie. The Generals are all now dead and it is noticeable how most critics waited until they were dead before tearing them to pieces. I believe that our Generals were the best and did their job to the best of their ability. After all, we did win the War, didn't we?

John Terraine:

It is a simple historical fact that the British Generals of the First World War, whatever their faults, did not fail in their duty.

It was not a British delegation that crossed the lines with a white flag in November 1918.

No German Army of occupation was stationed on the Thames, the Humber or the Tees.

No British Government was forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty. The British generals had done their duty. Their army and their country were on the winning side. That is the only point for examination of their quality.

(The Smoke And The Fire p 214)

 

Bruce Simpson

Chairman, The Western Frobt Association

 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 December 2013 20:55 )

 

The Western Front Association working with the Welsh Guards Collection

The Western Front Association working with the Welsh Guards Collection

Extract from the Welsh Guards regimental magazine for 2013 (used with permission).

The Welsh Guards Collection is an independent museum in Shropshire. Based at Park Hall, a former military camp just outside the town, it displays the regimental collection. Although it receives a small stipend from the regiment, it is dependent on voluntary donations and grants for its upkeep.

As the Museum Development Officer for Shropshire, I support the county museums with professional advice, training, grants and brokerage. As a recent newcomer to The Western Front Association, in addition to working with the Great War Commemoration Steering Group for Shropshire, I saw a great opportunity for some partnership work. Contacting teaching college and university chum, Matthew Lucas, the WFA's Historical Information Officer and a Trustee of the Western Front Association, we met up with Stan, the curator of the collection, and came up with some ideas.

I'll let Stan tell you the story:

"As we look forward to the next two years and what they mean to us, the outbreak of the 1st WW in August 1914 and then of course our formation in February 1915 a special display is a must for this once in a lifetime event. We have been extremely fortunate and privileged to take delivery of one of the biggest private collections of genuine authentic uniforms, weapons and artefacts relating to the Great War in the Country. "Matthew Lucas Collection" is the result of 36 years of compulsive dedication in uncovering and safeguarding these treasures for the likes of us to enjoy.

Image: L-R - Matthew Lucas, WFA Historical Information Officer, Stan Evans and Charles Singleton MDO

We made an exception to our loaning in policy on this one occasion and Matthew has allowed us at the WGC to display these treasures for the following two years. I can't thank Matthew as much as he deserves but you can by making the effort to visit us and see them.

We are also working with "Firing Line", The history of the Welsh Soldier and the National Army Museum at Cardiff Castle from the early months of next year. Our host at Park Hall has once again come to our rescue and have given us another building to house this unique display. Thanks again to Mr Martyn Hughes and his fellow Directors at the Countryside Experience.
Once again if you feel you would like to get involved with any of these activities I am always within easy reach on an E mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Charles Singleton and Stan Evans

Bulletin amendment - WFA Lancs and Cheshire speaker dates

Bulletin amendment - WFA Lancs and Cheshire speaker dates

Terry Jackson, WFA Lancashire and Cheshire Chairman, has notified that dates in the current issue of the WFA's Bulletin have been juxtaposed for 10 January and 14 March 2014.

The correct speakers and dates are:
Jan 10 Aimee Goddern 'Brigade Staff Hopeless & Inefficient?'
Mar 14 Rob Thompson 'Canadians after Vimy Ridge'.

The website listing for Lancashire and Cheshire events is correct.

 

BBC wishes to trace relatives or descendants of those featured in 1960s "The Great War" TV series

BBC wishes to trace relatives or descendants of those featured in 1960s

Chris Baker, former Chairman of the WFA, makes this request on behalf of the BBC. Please note: if anyone has this information and would prefer not to make it public by posting on Chris's Facebook page (see below for address), please either send me a message and I will ask Chris for the email address of the BBC producer involved. He will happily talk to you directly, not least to save a bit of time.

The BBC is seeking to find relatives or descendants of certain people who were interviewed for the 1960s "Great War" series. This is with a view to finding photographs or other information about those people that are not already in the public domain. The photos and information may be used in a major TV programme for next year and if the relatives/descendants are interested there may be a possibility that they could be featured themselves.

This is quite urgent and I ask all WFA members and our website visitors to reply or pass on this request if they have any knowledge at all of the families involved.

The people from the series are:

Robert Bell (who came from Blairgowrie)

Horace Leslie Birks (London, served as a General in WW2)

Allan E Bray (Salisbury, Wilts)

Frank Brent (Melbourne, VIC, Australia)

Charles Edmund Carrington (Birmingham and London)

Archibald Gunter Cochrane (Barnet)

Clifford W Craske (Chertsey)

Stanley F Down (Burnham on Sea)

Kitty Eckersley, also known as Katie Hooley and Kitty Mortier (last known in Chorley, Lancashire)

Norman Demuth (Bognor Regis)

Edward Walter Glendinning (Southampton)

George T Hancox (Canada, possibly Ottawa)

Sebastian C Lang (East Horsley (Horley?), Surrey)

Mabel Lethbridge (last known St Ives, Cornwall)

Cecil Arthur Lewis (the RFC/RAF author)

Norman Macmillan (RFC/RAF, Scotland, possibly Glasgow)

Reginald J Mason (King's Langley)

Joseph (Joe) Murray (RMLI, Loughton, Sussex)

Victor Packer (Bristol)

John Willis Palmer (Leyton)

Benjamin R Richards (Portishead)

Ralph Silk (Harrow)

Richard Henry Tobin (RMLI, Barnes)

Ernest Luzerne Todd (Sevenoaks)

Francis Barker Vaughan (possibly Sheffield area)

Chris's Facebook page is here.

Contact the Web Editor here.

 

WFA Suffolk Annual Seminar October 2014

WFA Suffolk Annual Seminar October 2014

Booking is now available for the first event in WFA Suffolk's six year series:

25 October 2014: The men who went to war

Charles Messenger: The regular British Army and its performance in the first months of the war

Jack Sheldon: The German Army from Mons to Ypres

Richard van Emden: 'Tickled to Death to Go' - Trooper 8292 Ben Clouting, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards

Jack Sheldon, Charles Messenger and Richard van Emden: Forum

Venue: The Kesgrave War Memorial Community Centre, Ipswich

Tickets: £25 to include a buffet lunch, morning coffee and afternoon tea. The centre also has a bar.

Time: 10am - 5pm

There will be an meal at the venue for those who wish to stay on for the evening, at a further cost of £25 Please also indicate any special dietary needs. Please indicate if you wish to stay for the meal and send the additional £25. Menu choices will be sent to those staying for the evening. Places for the evening are limited so please book early.

Tickets can be purchased online NOW through PayPal at: www.suffolkwfa.org/western-front-100.html
or by cheque, posted with SAE, to:
Western Front 100, 137 Angel Street, Hadleigh. Suffolk. IP7 5BY

Book early to avoid disappointment.

Download the series leaflet below.

 

Attachments:
FileDescriptionFile sizeLast modified
wfa_suffolk_six-year_seminar_programme.pdfWFA Suffolk Annual Seminar programme 2014 - 20191436 Kb30/11/13 12:06

Last Updated ( Saturday, 30 November 2013 12:24 )


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