Search results for BEF.

26 August 1914 : Lt Sir Robert Cornwallis Maude, 6th Viscount Hawarden


The first son of Robert Henry Maude, 5th Viscount Hawarden and Caroline Anna Mary (née Ogle). At the time of the 1901 Census the family of three - parents and 7 month old Robert, lived at White Hill Chase, Hants with their four domestic servants: cook, parlour maid, house maid and nurse. At the 1911 Census, Robert, now 10, was at prep: school…

011: Summer 1984


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Amiens to the Armistice: The BEF in the Hundred Days' Campaign 8 August - 11 November 1918


Book review by Ann Clayton. Both authors, being Senior Lecturers in the Department of War Studies at Sandhurst, demonstrate their ability to analyse the complexities of military actions, and this hundred-day campaign was more complex than most. It was also 'the greatest in British military history', and the one 'in which ground forces under Britis…

078: January 2007


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088: April/May 2010


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089: August/September 2010


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090: December 2010/January 2011


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091: April/May 2011


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092: August/September 2011


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100: June 2014 Special Edition


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British Medical Casualties on the Western Front in the Great War Part 1: Dealing with Wound Related Trauma


British Medical Casualties on the Western Front in the Great War Part 1: Dealing with Wound Related Trauma by Dr David Payne (This article first appeared in Stand To! 83 August / September 2008 pp. 27 - 32) Introduction When confronted with the onset of the Great War in August 1914, the professional British Regular soldier, and his colleagues in…

CANCELLED: The Brigade: the 'Building Block' of the BEF 1914-18


In this presentation, Rob Thompson will look at the development of the brigade in the BEF and its increasing importance in battle. Rob will explore the evolving nature of the brigade as it became more than a bridge between the ever-distant divisional HQ and the increasingly important battalion in the front line. Refreshments are served after the…

The Indian Army on the Western Front: India’s Expeditionary Force to France and Belgium in the First World War


Cambridge University Press, £60.00, 335pp., bibliog, index. ISBN: 9–781–107–027–466  To subvert a review about a new book with lengthy opinions on a fifteen–year–old work on the same topic is almost certainly poor reviewer’s protocol. However, since the shelf of new books about the Indian Army is virtually bare I will ignore polite convention. Lik…

‘The Black Man’, ‘The Brat’ and Londoners on the Somme


Reflections on the Capture of Thiepval, September 1916 by Prof Peter Simkins. I have long been interested in 18th (Eastern) Division’s capture of the village of Thiepval in September 1916. Indeed, my well-known fascination with 18th Division has prompted some fellow historians, such as Gary Sheffield, to refer to the formation as ‘Simmo’s Own’. Th…

'Bitter Experience: Evolution of a Doctrine in the BEF' by John Lee


John Lee will be giving a talk he called 'Bitter Experience' about the evolution of a doctrine in the British Expeditionary Force. 

Who was the first British soldier to be killed in the First World War in 1914?


It is often asserted that the first British soldier to be killed in the war is buried very close to the last soldier to be killed, at St Symphorien Military Cemetery, Belgium. Indeed, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission note that Private John Parr, who was killed on 21 August 1914, is 'Believed to be the first British battle casualty of the war.…

Stand To ! No. 121 Recently Published


Contents  Communication Lines 2–6  A Bridge Too Many on the Oise by Michael Carragher 7–11  A Short Spell on Mudros and Helles by Barbara Meredith 12–18  Another Lonely Anzac 1394 Private H V Meston 9th Battalion AIF by Paul Cobb 19–21  The Camera Returns (102) by Bob Grundy and Steve Wall 22–23  A Fascination for Flora Along the Western …

The Safe Passage of BEF Troopships August 1914


Comparatively little outside of the Official History has been written about the defensive measures established to cover the initial transport of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to the continent in August 1914 and that may well be because of their success. The Royal Navy, with its traditional global perspective, had held little enthusiasm for…

Riding the Retreat: Mons to Marne 1914 Revisited by Richard Holmes


Jonathan Cape, 1995.  Hardback, 280 pages   £20.  ISBN 0224037625 [This review first appeared in the 1996 edition of Stand To! No.45] Riding the Retreat arrived in my postbox just as I finished Army Battlefield Guide - Belgium and Northern France by the same author. They are in marked contrast. I have always hankered after riding the Somme on …

ONLINE: ‘Big Hands, Little Maps’: Operational Art and its genesis on the Western Front


The presentation will be live and online.  Prior to 1914 there were generally considered to be only two levels of war: Strategy and Tactics. The former tended to be the role of a 'supreme leader' and his council or of a national government whilst the latter was executed by commanders of armies in the field. Lieutenant Colonel Simon Shephard will…

Arnold Ridley aka Private Godfrey of Dads Army


[This short profile of the actor and playwright Arnold Ridley first appeared in a piece by Mark Bristow titled 'Seven British Actors Who Served during the Great War'. It appeared in Firestep Vol.7. No.1 The Western Front Association London Branch magazine, all volumes of which are available for access by members using their member login]. Arnold…

'Effin' and Blindin' on the Western Front' by Prof Mark Connelly


About the talk: Mark returns to Petts Wood with a lively, amusing and informative study of swearing and blasphemy in the BEF, exploring in all its glory the richness and humour of Tommy's everyday Profanosaurus, 1914-1918.  About the speaker: Mark Connelly is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Kent. His main research interest…

Ep.250. p1 – Sir Henry Rawlinson – Prof. Robin Prior


Historian and author Professor Robin Prior, visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, talks about the Great War career of British general Sir Henry Rawlinson who served in the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front. Your browser does not support the aud…

The Middlesex Regiment at Mons - a talk by Jonathan Steer


Branch member Jonathan Steer will present a talk about the Middlesex Regiment at Mons, an action at which a family member served. Meet from 7:30 for an 8pm start in the bar area of the village hall at Hatfield Peverel. The bar is available. There is parking on site. Requested entrance donation of £3.50 and, as ever, the talk is open to members an…

Ep 267 – Morale in the BEF on the Western Front, 1917-8 – Dr Alex Mayhew


Dr Alex Mayhew, a historian of the cultural, military, and social history of war and also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, talks about his research into the morale of the British soldier in the final 18 months of the Great War. Your browser does not support the audio …

A talk by Dr Emma Hanna 'Sounds of War: Music in the British Forces in the First World War'


  Comparatively little is known about the musical cultures of the British armed forces during the Great War. This talk will look at the vital presence of music in a range of military contexts, including military camps, ships, aerodromes and battlefields, canteen huts, hospitals and PoW camps. Emma Hanna argues that music was omn…

'A Most Infernal Place: 62nd Division at 2nd Marne' by Tim Lynch


Tim's presentation describes the 62nd Division's experiences, and what this Battle tells us about the BEF's ability to fight effectively, and in coalition with French, Italian and American forces,  in the closing months of the Great War. We ask for a £5 donation at the door for which we provide tea and coffee, a small buffet and a raffle ticket fo…

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. …

Smith Dorrien and the Mons Campaign with David Keable Elliott


David will be discussing Sir Horace Lockwood Smith Dorrien's involvement in the Battle of Mons, the period prior to the battle and the retreat. He'll mention that Sir Horace only took command of the 2nd Corps following the untimely death of Sir James Grierson and had arrived just days before the battle. His period of command was fraught with diffic…

'Prime Ministers on the Front' with Graham Adams


Graham will look at the role different Prime Ministers took in the Great War with special discussion on those who served in the forces such as Clement Attlee, Neville Chamberlain, Anthony Eden and Winston Churchill. Image: Major Winston Churchill, wearing a French steel shrapnel helmet, stands with General Emile Fayolle and other officers includin…

Of No Earthly Use. The 2nd Line Territorial Force Divisions and the Western Front 1914–18 by K W Mitchinson


(Helion, 2021) £29.95, paperback, 301 pages inc maps, index, notes and refs. plus 18 pages full colour photographs. ISBN 978–1–914059–95–7 Buy a copy now >  Since 1995, Bill Mitchinson has been producing meticulously researched books on some of the less fashionable units of the British Army in the early 20th century, espe…

'Performance of BEF, 1914 Campaign' by Peter Hart


Our guest speaker on 5th November is Peter Hart, well known for his books on various aspects of the Great War and for leading battlefield tours. Peter previously visited the branch several years ago so we are pleased to welcome him back.   His talk on this occasion is entitled 'Performance of BEF, 1914 Campaign'.   As ever, all members and gues…

The Helion & Co Great War Conference 2023


Helion & Co are delighted to announce their first dedicated Great War conference at the Birmingham & Midland Institute. An exciting line-up of speakers will examine a variety of aspects of the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front 1914-18 with a stimulating range of papers. There will also be a book stand with an extensive sele…

ONLINE: "The Bugger Signed" : Kitchener, Robertson and the Collapse of British Strategy in 1915


The presentation will be live and online.  The quote is from William Robertson, Chief of Staff to the BEF and the ‘bugger’ in question is Lord Kitchener. It is the early hours of 10 December 1915, in the Hotel Crillon in Paris and Kitchener has just signed over to Robertson all his powers as chief strategic advisor to the government and agreed…

'Not part of the BEF' with Louise Heren


Louise will be talking about the British perspective of the First World War through journalists and eye witness accounts of the early days of the Great War. Featured image: Summer has been turned into winter by Ernest Brooks. National Library of Scotland License: CC BY 4.0