Journey's End - The Surrey Branch Seminar
03 Nov

Journey’s End

A seminar reflecting on the events of 1918 and the legacy of WW1

Surrey branch of the Western Front Association

Saturday, 3rd November 2018 at Dorking Halls, Dorking, Surrey

£30 per person (includes refreshments and buffet lunch)

09:15 – 09:55 Registration and Coffee & Tea

10:00 – 10:10 Welcome from Andy Thompson, Chair, WFA Surrey Branch

10:10 – 11:10 Six miles from victory; German offensive in Flanders, April 1918 Chris Baker

Chris discusses the series of German offensives of Spring 1918, examining the decisions made, tactics used and battle effectiveness of both sides. There is particular emphasis on Operation “Georgette”, the Battle of the Lys, which came within a whisker of battlefield success for the German Sixth Army in mid-April. Chris also examines whether battle success would have forced a conclusion to the war. His talk coincides with the publication of two new “Battleground Europe” books by Chris, covering the April fighting.

11:10 – 11:40 Coffee & Tea (plus opportunity to see exhibits and buy books)

11:40 – 12:40 The Last Battle: Endgame on the Western Front, 1918 Peter Hart

Peter examines the way in which we won the war, the role of Foch and Haig, the state of the German Army and the importance of the massive numerical American commitment. In particular, Peter will look at the “All Arms Battle” developed by the BEF.

12:40 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:00 Fallen soldiers and their families Richard Van Emden

Richard explores the experiences of the families of those soldiers who did not come back from the war. His talk examines how they fared during the war years and in the immediate aftermath of peace, primarily through the eyes of the last survivors

15:00 – 16:00 Remembrance and the Great War Taff Gillingham

Taff looks at how the British remember the Great War, challenging perceptions about how the British contribution to the war is viewed.

16:00 – 16:15 Closing remarks from Andy Thompson


About our speakers

Chris Baker

A former Chairman of the Western Front Association, Chris is the founder of the Great War Forum, author of several books and of the website the Long, Long Trail. He is a Member and Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Birmingham’s Centre for First World War Studies, and was awarded the MA in British First World War Studies in 2007. A Chartered Engineer by profession, Chris now works as a freelance military historian through his research business, fourteeneighteen.

Peter Hart

Peter has worked as the Oral Historian of the Imperial War Museum since 1981. He is the author of several books on the Great War. His latest work is ‘The Last Battle: Endgame on the Western Front, 1918’ published in February 2018.

Richard Van Emden

Richard is a well-known historian of the Great War, having interviewed 270 veterans and written many books. He has also worked extensively with the BBC and independent television companies on an array of projects and documentaries. Richard has visited the Great War battlefields every year since 1985 and is currently researching and writing a book about one woman’s four-year search for her missing son who disappeared on the Somme.

Taff Gillingham

Taff is a professional military historical advisor for film, television and theatre work, advising on many productions including the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’, and the 2012 film ‘Private Peaceful’. He has a vast knowledge of the uniforms and equipment of the British and Commonwealth soldiers of the first half of the twentieth century. He runs The Association for Military Remembrance, which researches military history 1899 - 1960, is a former trustee of The Suffolk Regiment Museum and is Chairman of the Suffolk Branch of The Western Front Association.

WW1 Display by Dorking Museum - Organised by local historian and author, Kathy Atherton, a series of graphics panels tell the story of 1914 – 1918 through the impact and experiences of local towns and villages.

Guns and Weapons showcase - Roger Learney, historical arms collector and member of The Historical Breech Loading Small Arms Association, will be exhibiting some of his personal collection.

Opportunity to buy books on the Great War and a Raffle.

The Venue - Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1SG -

Travelling by car: easily accessed from the A24 / A25. Pay and display car park.

Travelling by train: short walk from Dorking Main and Dorking Deepdene stations

For more info and to book: Email Caroline Haley, Programme Secretary, WFA Surrey branch:


Dorking Halls, Reigate Rd, Dorking RH4 1SG
03 Nov 2018 09:15