Ralph says that in the seventies a family friend, a Dunkirk veteran, told the story of his father, who had served in the 1st Essex Bn and died in Flanders in January 1918 and recommended Lynn Macdonald's book 'Passchendaele'. Ralph said that he remembers the veteran's stories stirred his imagination.

In 1984 a small group trip to Belgium was arranged to visit the Ypres Salient and Tyne Cot where he said his friend's father was remembered. This visit made a lasting impression on Ralph. They looked at the Dunkirk beaches, cemeteries and locality. Ralph’s  very first battlefield tour experience.

In 2004 he went to The Western Front Association meetings of the Lancashire & Cheshire Branch. The first speaker was very good and happened to be our co-patron, Peter Simkins. Without more ado Ralph joined the Association. 

With the retirement of then Bulletin Editor, Stan Grosvenor, in 2005 the ExCo asked Ralph’s  company for a proposal to manage the title thereon. They wished to modernise the production process of supplying members with high-quality publications. APP were appointed in 2006 and Ralph additionally agreed to act as editor. A year later he took over the production aspect of Stand To! with Jon Cooksey as the new editor.

After twenty-four years at various Advertising/Marketing/Publishing companies, he set up APP Ltd., in 1988, to manage publications and print services.