Welcome to the Cheltenham and Gloucester Branch

The branch meet at 7:30pm on the second Tuesday of each month at The Ed Shed, The Folk of Gloucester Centre, Westgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2PG.

Entrance is via the rear on Quay Street  opposite the Council Carpark barrier.

There is ample free parking  here after 7:00 pm when the barrier is raised. 

Location via "What3Words" is "hooked.stage.mass"  

All are welcome

The Cheltenham and Gloucester Branch is very active with regular attendance of over 40 people at our monthly meeting meetings.

As well as regular speakers we have film and documentary showings and organised trips both in this country and to the Western Front. 

A donation of £3.50 (£1.50 for students) would be greatly appreciated

 Forthcoming Meetings 


Tuesday 10th January 2023

The Doughboys 1917-18 - The American Experience in WWI

Mike Sheil

Mike’s talk is based upon the American battlefields of WW1. He will give a battlefield guides perspective of the American Expeditionary Force's war effort on the Western Front.


Tuesday 14th February 2023     

Missing - Died - Survived: The Senior brothers and the Great War    

Guy Senior       

The story of three brothers who fought on the Western Front. Joseph, Walter and George Senior were all born in the Yorkshire town of Wakefield and educated at Wakefield Grammar School. Joseph served with the West Yorkshire Regiment; he would later volunteer for the Royal Flying Corps. Walter also served with the West Yorkshire Regiment and George served with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was later attached to the Sherwood Foresters. Only one would come home.


Tuesday 14th March 2023

The Artist Rifles in the Great War

Michael Orr                  

The 28th Battalion of the London Regiment (the Artists Rifles) made a unique contribution to the history of the First World War, as Michael will explain in this talk. The 1st Battalion served with the BEF in France and Flanders but this was the least significant part of the Artists Rifles' wartime history. More importantly over 10,000 men were commissioned into the British Army, Royal Flying Corps or Royal Air Force and even the Royal Navy. But Michael will argue that the most significant contribution of the Artists Rifles has been in how we remember the First World War and the images, words and even sounds that we associate with the war


Tuesday 11th April 2023            

The Indian Army during the First World War: an Ox & Bucks Perspective

Stephen Barker


During 1914-18, the 1st Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (OBLI) fought in Iraq as part of the British Indian Army. Many of the soldiers who died in the campaign are commemorated on war memorials across Oxfordshire. This presentation highlights a project run by the University of Oxford in partnership with the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and highlights the part the OBLI played in the campaign and also the role played by Indian soldiers during the war. The talk is fully illustrated, includes a ten-minute film and details of the related exhibition currently touring Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.


Tuesday 9th May 2023  

Who Killed Captain Duncan Martin?     

Ross Beadle

Plasticine models, poets, "lions led by donkeys"...... and all of that. This talk revisits the attack of the 20th Brigade on the first day of the Somme and includes some fascinating overlay pictures by Jonathan Porter.


Tuesday 13th June 2023           

Foch, Pétain and the Poilus: The French War Effort 1914-18

Martin Alexander                      

The Western Front ran mostly through France and was mostly held by French armies. In March 1918 a French generalissimo, Foch, became the Allied supreme commander. We shall explore the roles of Joffre who saved France on the Marne in 1914 and Pétain who rallied wobbling French soldiers after the 1917 mutinies, and consider the troops too (the poilus or ‘hairy men’). With Paris secure, offensives were repeatedly mounted to ‘boot the Boches out of France’ and we shall probe why they were essential. At the close of 1918, France was liberated. But 1,390,000 French soldiers died in the effort, a price that mortgaged the nation and its strategic mindset for the rest of the 20th Century.


Tuesday 11th July 2023

Women in the Great War         

Dr Ritchie Wood                       

This talk considers the role of women in society during the pre-war Edwardian era, what was expected of them when war broke out as against what they actually achieved on both the battlefield and the Home Front. It evaluates their contribution to the British War Effort and the movement towards the emancipation of women.


Tuesday 8th August 2023                      

Branch Summer Meeting and BBQ

A special evening to allow some greater social interaction than normal. There will be a couple of short talks by members along with a BBQ, Raffle and an opportunity for members to bring along items for the interest of other members. Enjoy an evening with others sharing your interest in the Great War.


Tuesday 12th September 2023   

Artillery Conquers: Infantry Occupies

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Shephard      

Simon seeks to assess the performance of the British Expeditionary Forces’ artillery during the preparation for, and conduct of, the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. To carry out this assessment, it uses a set of Principles of War which Colonel J F C Fuller published in the February 1916 edition of the RUSI Journal. These are often referenced as the start point for the way the British Army has subsequently developed its use of the Principles of War. The lecture will focus on the conduct of the artillery battles at Army, Corps and Divisional level for: Pilkem Ridge, 31 July - British Fifth Army; Menin Road Ridge, 20 September - British Second Army; Second Passchendaele, 26 October to 10 November - Canadian Corps.


Tuesday 10th October 2023     

Birdie – more than ‘Soul of Anzac’

Richard Farrimond        

Field Marshal Lord Birdwood of Anzac and Totnes was given the accolade ’Soul of Anzac’ in General Hamilton's second despatches from Gallipoli. Birdwood was one of a very few who left those shores with his reputation intact, perhaps even enhanced. He took his beloved Anzacs to the Western Front where he became the ninth longest serving Corps Commander before finishing the war as one of Haig’s five army commanders. This talk looks at Birdwood’s distinguished life of service – personal, military and political.


Tuesday 14th November 2023   

Retribution to Redemption:  The 35th (Bantam) Division, 1914-1918

Professor Peter Simkins MBE FRHistS

Few episodes in the massive expansion of the British Army in 1914-1915 more graphically illustrate the haphazard, improvised and often reactive nature of that process than the story of the ‘Bantam’ experiment and, in particular, the experience of the 35th (Bantam) Division. What began as a well-intentioned attempt to harness the patriotic spirit of men who, due to their diminutive stature, would otherwise have been denied the chance to serve their country, led, in reality, to disappointment and tragedy, principally because no one, at the outset, appears to have carefully considered the full implications of the scheme they had initiated.


Tuesday 12th December 2023    

Members’ Evening      

For our December meeting, we draw on the wide and varied expertise and knowledge of our branch members. We will have a small selection of ten-minute length presentations on a Great War related subject of their choice.


Find out more from our website: The Western Front Association Cheltenham & Gloucestershire Branch 

Facebook: Cheltenham & Gloucestershire Branch of the Western Front Association.

Twitter: @CGWFA



Upcoming Branch Events

See Bulletin, or the Branch Facebook Page or website for forthcoming event details.