Search results for 1914.

16 September 1914 : Sdt 2e Cl Marius Labruyere, 158 RI


Marius lived at 146, Rue Fontalon, Roanne. He was called for his compulsory military service in October 1913 and was  still serving upon the outbreak of war. He saw action in Alsace in the earliest engagements of the war. He next served in the Champagne area where, near Souain on 16 September 1914, he was killed in action during a French assa…

1914 The Memoirs of a Volunteer by Harry Fellows


[This article first appeared in Stand To! No 11 Summer 1984 pp.34-35. At this time, there were more than 170 members of the Western Front Association who were veterans of the First World War, like Harry Fellows they shared reminiscences, their memoirs, diaries and letters. Members of the WFA have access to a growing online archive of back issues of…

035: Summer 1992


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"Motorcycle dispatch riders in 1914" by Nick Shelly


Our speaker Nick Shelley, working with his brother Martin Shelley, researched the motorcyclists who volunteered as dispatch riders in August 1914. His talk describes the key role played by these motorcyclists on the “Retreat from Mons” and then in the first battles around Ypres and the beginning of trench warfare. He focuses on the dozen or so me…

059: September 2000


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078: January 2007


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100: June 2014 Special Edition


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Major Arthur Hughes-Onslow: soldier, jockey and one of the first British deaths in the Great War


Arthur Hughes-Onslow was born in 1862. He joined the 10th Hussars at Lucknow, India and stayed in the regiment for 20 years. Along the way, he acquired the nickname of 'Junks', although he had no idea why it was given to him. It soon became the name by which he was known by family, friends, the racing public and fellow soldiers alike. Everyone w…

The Opening and Closing Shots Tour


The Tayside Branch organised a coach tour to the Western Front in June 2019. Two years after the Branch’s last tour, Tayside WFA returned to the Western Front in June this year. The broad theme, and the title of our tour was “The Opening and Closing Shots” – we were going to selectively concentrate on the two phases of open warfare in the opening …

23 April 1916 : Charles Fernand Sylvain van Eleghem


Charles was living in Brussels when he began his military service in 1905. By 1914, Charles was serving as an officer of the reserve when he was mobilised into service on 1st August 1914 and possibly saw some action during the Battle of Halen. In January 1915 , Charles was serving on the Yser Front with the 2nd company of the newly formed 2e …

6 July 1916 : Urbain Pierre Rieucau


Urbain was a farmer before the war.  Having completed his compulsory military service at Rodez in 1911, Urbain was immediately recalled upon the declaration of war and was in action at the Battle of Morhange in August 1914 - Morhange being an area of France annexed by the Germans in 1871. The remainder of the year saw Urbain in action on th…

29 October 1914 : Fred Cockett


Fred was son of Elizabeth Cockett and (it is presumed) Joseph Moore (they married in 1891). Frederick was the eldest brother of Gunner John Moore, who is also recorded on this site, who died from his wounds in 1918. In the 1891 Yorkshire Census, Fred, aged 4 years, was living with his grandparents, John and Mary Cockett (nee Constantine). John w…

The Battles of La Bassée, Armentières and Messines 1914


‘Little of that Seed Remained’ – The Battles of La Bassée, Armentières and Messines 1914

La Bassée after the fighting

 French Field Gun and ammunition waggon at Bas Maisnil

IMAGES: Rue de Lille, Armentières, The ruins of La Bassée, 'Two officers (Davidson, M. O., and Churchill) of the 1st Cameronians by a 75 mm. French Field Gun and ammunition waggon at Bas Maisnil'.

Iris Hotblack and Alan ‘Balmy’ Morton : love letters from the Front


At the outbreak of war in 1914, 20 year old Miss Iris Mary Hotblack was at home with her family. They lived in a large, Edwardian, detached, seven room house called The Boltons, on King Henry’s Road, Lewes in Sussex. Iris had been sent away to school in Cheltenham so was used to living away from home and writing letters to stay in touch. She wro…

George Edward Cecil


2/Lt G E Cecil, 2/Grenadier Guards.Killed in action 1 September 1914. Buried at the Guard's Grave, Villers-Cotterets.Memorial: Stone column in Nonnebossen, N of Menin Rd, 5km W Ypres. Car access rough. Location on Google MapGuardian: CWGC George Edward Cecil, born on 9 September 1895 the son of Lord and Lady Edward Cecil, had a life-long ambitio…

Ep. 120 – Popular Responses to the Outbreak of WW1 – Prof Catriona Pennell


Prof Catriona Pennell, from the University of Exeter, talks about her book on the popular responses to the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 (published by OUP). Your browser does not support the audio element. Her own interest in the perio…

1914 Days of Hope by Lyn Macdonald


xiv plus 446 pp. Case bound. £15.95. Michael Joseph. In this latest in her series of books on the Great War the author has retained the style and format which proved so popular with her earlier works, as undoubtedly will be the case with this one. It may not be to everybody's liking but it has resulted in a graphic, interesting and very readable a…

Archduke Ferdinand and the Era of Assassination by Lisa Traynor


Royal Armouries Talking Points (2018) £14.99, 71pp, 39 ills, notes and refs, bibliog, index.  ISBN: 978–094–809–288–6  There has been no shortage of books since the ‘shot that rang around the world’ was fired, although the raging torrent of print of a few years ago has begun to slow to a trickle as non– specialist publishers hammer the final nai…

The Raid on Yarmouth : 3 November 1914


The raid took place on 3 November 1914, and was an attack by the Imperial German Navy on the British North Sea port and town of Great Yarmouth by the German battlecruiser squadron under the command of Admiral Franz von Hipper. The intention was to lay mines off the coast of Yarmouth and Lowestoft and to shell Yarmouth. Little damage was done to th…

Tommy Capper's 'Immortals' : How effective was the 7th Division at the 1st Battle of Ypres?


University of Birmingham, , 4th August 2014 'Tommy Capper's Immortals' : How effective was the 7th Division at the 1st Battle of Ypres?” Major-General Thompson Capper, C.B., D.S.O.                             The Immortal 7th Division….                             For Dad                         1921-2014     'Tommy Capper's Immortals…

Died one day, buried two days later by his father


On 8 November 1915 a young officer, 2/Lt Kenneth Theodore Dunbar Wilcox, was killed whilst serving in the 8th Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment).Two days later he was buried by his father the chaplain to the forces. Kenneth Wilcox was the only son of Rev. G.A. Wilcox and Mrs H.L. Wilcox. Rev. Wilcox was the vicar of St George’s Battersea Park an…

Letters from a Volunteer by Charles St.G Cook


[This review first appeared in Stand To! No.12 Winter 1984]  Charles St.G Coook 1914 Letters from a Volunteer. Ed. with intro, edited by Don Cook. 40pp., pbk £1.95 (post paid). (Copies can be found for £4 in 2021) Copy 15 of 500 shown here.  Despite the huge output of books relating to the Great War there are still many aspects of the confli…

The First RFC Pilot to land in France 13 August 1914


At 6.25am on 13 August 1914, No.2 Squadron Royal Flying Corp mobilised for France. They were to follow their commanding officer Major C J Burke, a pioneer of military aviation who was noted for his courage and who had not only insisted that his squadron be the first to leave – but that his aircraft be the first to land. Above: Major Charles Burk…

Kitchener's Mob: The New Army to the Somme by Peter Doyle and Chris Foster


The History Press, 2016, £25.00  224pp, colour and monochrome ills throughout, bibliog., notes and refs. ISBN: 9–780–750–964–951 [This review first appeared in Stand To! No.108 January 2017] This is far from the first book about Kitchener’s 5.7 million strong new armies. The story is old and well known; since the publication of the immensely p…

Ep.220 – Recruiting and training the RFC – David Spruce


Doctoral candidate David Spruce talks to me about his research into Recruiting and Training the Royal Flying Corps during the Great War. Your browser does not support the audio element. David Spruce looks at the recruitment and training me…

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark


Penguin London 2013 pp.736 ill ISBN 9780141027821 Clark is an Australian historian and the Regius Professor of history at Cambridge University. I first read his book in 2014 in an effort to move away from the usual British-centric works to which I found myself referring. Re-reading its small print over many pages has not diminished my respect …

The George Cecil Memorial at Villers-Cotterets by Michael Aidin


[This article first featured in Stand To! No.74 September 2005 pp 35-36. Some additional images have been added]. The memorial (below) to Lieutenant George Cecil by Francois Sicard (1862- 1945) is one of the finest private monuments erected on the Western Front. Situated in the extensive Foret de Retz at Villers Cotterets, about 20 miles from Co…

Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of War, 1914 - Michael S. Neiberg


336 pages Belknap Press Publication Date: 10/14/2013 ISBN 9780674725935 ‘Dance of the Furies’ by Michael S Neiberg is a definitive social history of Europe leading up to the outbreak of world war, its initial spasms and the first months of the conflict.  ‘Dance of the Furies’ is a comprehensive academic study into the lives of those who were l…

Ep. 221a – The Schlieffen Plan : 1914 March to the Marne in 1914 - Part 1 – Ross Beadle


Episode 1 : Research into the ten critical decisions of the French, German and British commanders that shaped the failure of German Schlieffen plan in 1914.

Ep. 221b – The Schlieffen Plan : 1914 March to the Marne - Part 2 – Ross Beadle


Episode 2 : Research into the ten critical decisions of the French, German and British commanders that shaped the failure of German Schlieffen plan in 1914.

"Soldiers of the Queen in the Great War" - A talk by John Sly


On Wednesday 13th October we return, after the Covid-break, to the The Royal British Legion, Poppy Lounge, at Hornchurch for a talk by Branch Member, John Sly looking at the older veterans that re-enlisted into the Army in the Great War. 7:30 for a 8:00pm start. Suggested entry donation is £3. We will take reasonable anti-Covid measures and would…

ONLINE: The Christmas Day Truce 1914 with Gordon Corrigan


The presentation will be live and online.  We welcome back Gordon Corrigan who will talk to us about the Christmas Day Truce of 1914. Truces and armistices, brief halts in the fighting, temporary fraternisations, all are as old as warfare. They might be called in order to exchange prisoners, retrieve wounded or bury the dead, or, as in 1914, …

Christmas Day 1914 – Goodwill to all men?


Much has been written about the Christmas Day ‘Truce’ on 25 December 1914 – while the popular image of Christmas Day 1914 might be that ‘peace reigned’, this was not universal across the western front. Above: the Christmas Truce 1914 Indeed, the CWGC records the deaths of 78 men on the western front on 25 December 1914 – whilst just over 30 of…

ONLINE: 'The Harwich Submarine Flotilla in the Great War' by Mark Harris


Caption: HMS D1 of the Harwich Flotilla About the speaker: Mark Harris is a military historian specialising in telling the story of the naval aspects of the Great War. He aims to reveal new insights from previously unpublished material, using both official archives and archived records/documents from participants. Before turning to writing full-ti…

ONLINE 'A Fine Feat of Arms': The Zeppelin Base Raids, Autumn 1914


The presentation will be live and online.  In the summer of 1914, as Europe teetered on the brink of war, the spectre of immediate Zeppelin raids on London and other major British towns and cities loomed large. When First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill accepted responsibility for the aerial defence of London, he recognised that Zeppelin…

Ep.251 – Debating America’s response to the Great War – Dr Neil Lanctot


Historian Dr Neil Lanctot talks about his recent book The Approaching Storm which explores the domestic debates and discussions that informed America’s response to the outbreak of the Great War and its eventual declaration of war in April 1917. The Approaching Storm explores the perspectives of three prominent US newsmakers: President Woodrow Wi…

Red Trousers – The French Army in 1914 by Simon House


Red Trousers – The French Army in 1914 by Simon House The French army which went to war in August 1914 was a very different organisation to that which sat down in a railway carriage with their allies four years later to conclude an armistice with Germany. Simon’s talk will look at structure of the French army in 1914 along with its military strat…

In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War - Sarajevo to Versailles (Volume 1)


The Western Front Association is supporting an event at Hungary House in London at 6pm on Thursday 30th June 2022 to mark the UK launch of Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy's book, In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War - Sarajevo to Versailles (Volume 1).  The book launch and a related photo exhibition event will be held in the Hungary House in Lond…

August 1914 by Bruno Cabanes


One of the positive features of modern Great War scholarship is the number of books that allow historians to understand the conflict from the perspective of another of the combatant nations. Bruno Cabanes’ August 1914 tells the story of France, and French society, in that cataclysmic first month of the war. Cabanes not only draws on government arc…

A talk by Marko Gasic 'What really happened in the Balkans in 1913'


(Serbian troops marching. Unknown author - Library of Congress Flickr Commons project) Marko is an expert on the Balkans and often comments on TV, radio and in the press. As an editor, he has had a 'major impact on the content and structure' over many years in developing and editing John Zametica's …

Ross Beadle - ‘The Origins of the Schlieffen Plan: German War Planning up to July 1914'


This talk will consider how 'If you make a false premise at the very beginning, it really doesn’t matter how relentlessly logical you are thereafter the whole edifice is built on sand'. That is the story of German war planning. And to complicate the history further, once 44 years of work has gone belly up, as it did in 1914, those responsible have …

The Voie Sacrée by Roy Larkin


Please note - the date of this meeting (our May meeting) has been changed to avoid the Coronation weekend and additional bank holiday. It will now take place on Wednesday, 26th April at 19.00.   This is the last branch meeting before our summer break - our speaker will be Roy Larkin who will talk on 'The 'Voie Sacrée - the road that saved Verdun …

ONLINE: 'Germans on the Run: From Tsingtao to Skipton' by Anne Buckley


Caption: The calm before the storm. Straehler with naval detachment in Tsingtao, China, prior to the Anglo-Japanese siege.  About the talk: Anne recounts the little-known escape story of two German naval officers, who spent a year on the run covering an astonishing five thousand miles and almost circumnavigating the globe. Fritz Sachsse (Korvetten…

Ep.292 – The 6th Div in the GW – Dr Peter Hodgkinson


Historian, clinical psychologist and author Dr Peter Hodgkinson talks about his recent book A Complete Orchestra of War. This is a history of the 6th Division on the Western Front during the First World War. Your browser does not support the audio element. …

'Lost Opportunity: The Battle of the Ardennes 22nd August 1914' a talk by Dr Simon House


On 22 August 1914, the nineteenth day of what was to be a four year war, 27,000 French soldiers were killed - killed not ‘Killed, wounded, missing’ - on the Western Front in a series of encounter battles which were generically called ’The Battles of the Frontiers”. This level of casualties dwarfs the 16,000 British soldiers killed on the first day …

'Private John Parr of the Middlesex Regiment- the First British Soldier killed on the Western Front' a talk by Mick Crick


There is much speculation about Private John Parr, widely acknowledged to have been the first British soldier killed in combat in the First World War on the Western Front.  But there are many stories about him and what he did.  Mick Crick, who spent his entire working life with the Met Police, will reveal what is truth and what mere conjecture, bas…

Branch Event: 'Jig-a-jig Tommy'


Bruce Cherry is an author, tour guide and former university lecturer with a PhD in military history. Amongst other titles is his book ’They Didn't Want to Die Virgins; a study of Sex and Morale on the Western Front'. Bruce’s talk includes the British Army’s attitude toward sex, the soldier’s moral code, army morale, and the sexual lives of troops o…

Bedford’s Highlanders – the Scottish ‘Invasion’ of Bedford, August 1914


During three days in August 1914, nearly seventeen thousand Scottish territorial soldiers arrived in Bedford. This friendly invasion is a relatively little-known part of Bedford's recent history. The "invaders" were the men of the Highland Division (later to become the 51st Highland Division) whose infantry units carried famous and evocative names …

'Misfire: The Sarajevo Assassination and the Winding Road to World War 1' by Paul Miller-Melamed


Oxford University Press, 2022 £22.99 Hardback 194 pages, 32 images, 4 maps. ISBN 9780195331042. ​​It is sometimes said that ‘there is a reason for everything’ and for a world changing event as impactful and far–reaching as the First World War then the quest for a root cause takes on a particular urgency. Whilst the expansive histography on this…

‘Hunter-Bunter’: Lt. Gen. Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston by Dave Barras


This talk looks at the rise of Lieutenant-General Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston KCB DSO. A figure who attracted controversy, particularly at Gallipoli and then as VIII Corps commander on 1 Jul 1916 - but why had he been promoted to this level? And are his critics right?   Dave is Branch Secretary at Northumberland WFA. He has been visiting battl…

The Victory That Never Was: 32 Saxon Division on the Marne 1914 by Alastair Fraser


The talk looks at the experiences of a Saxon infantry division of the Third Army in the Marne campaign of August and September 1914. In particular, it uses the memoirs of the army commander, Generaloberst Max Freiherr von Hausen for the view from the top as well as the letters of Kurt Becker, a Gefreiter (Corporal) in 103 Infanterie Regiment from B…

‘A Fine Feat of Arms. The Zeppelin Base Raids Autumn 1914’ with Ian Castle


We welcome author and historian Ian Castle back to the branch.

Ian returns to speak about the Zeppelin Base Raids with the title  ‘A Fine Feat of Arms Autumn 1914’.

This  eye opening story and view from the air about the First World War. 


All are welcome at our branch, we ask for a £5 to cover our costs.

A Concept Vindicated: The Battle of the Falkland Islands, 1914 - Scott Lindgren


In early 2023, Scott visited Ruddington to talk about the Battle of Coronel, and perhaps unwisely, offered to return to the branch and give his follow up talk on the Battle of the Falkland Islands 1914!Following Coronel, the Royal Navy dispatched three battlecruisers to hunt down the German East Asia Squadron. This lecture examines the engagement, …

'The Battle of Nonne Boschen 11 November 1914 by Vern Littley'


The Battle of Nonne Boschen by Vern Littley   A look at the battlefield today, the best stands to view the battle, retell the story of how XLI Brigade RFA stopped the Prussian Guard.