Search results for John Bourne.

028: Spring 1990

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Facing Armageddon: The First World War Experienced

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By Hugh Cecil and Dr Peter Liddle First published by Leo Cooper in 1996, New edition edition (April 2003) £60 hardback 2003 edition. £10 - £13 second hand. ISBN-10: 1844680029 ISBN-13: 978-1844680023 New Edition 3 November 2016 £16.99 softback or £4.99 Kindle from Pen & Sword Pen & Sword, 936p, Ills, detialed notess & refs, bibl…


Tackling the six biggest classroom clichés of the First World War

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Teaching the Great War and tackling the classroom clichés Teaching History at School Image from 'Peace and War International Relations 1900-1939 GCSE Modern World History by Steven Waugh and John Wright for EDEXCEL Teaching the Great War Originally published by the Journal of the Centre for First World Studies in 2002. This was posted with pe…


Douglas Haig War Diaries and Letters 1914-1918

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ISBN: 0 297 84702 3  HB 550 pages £25.00  Published by Weindenfeld & Nicholson.  Edited by Gary Sheffield & John Bourne.  No one General has suffered such vilification over the years as Douglas Haig. In this most recent edited version of his famous, some would say infamous diaries the reader at last comes to see the man for what he was, …


Haig and the Cavalry

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By Bob Bushaway Reproduced with the permission of the 'Journal of the Centre for First World War Studies'.   Why are historians interested in Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig and his reputation? There are probably three main reasons. First, he remains one of the most controversial figures in British history, both the victor of Britain’s Great War…


Long Long Trail A–winding: Centenary Perspectives on the Great War Editor  Dr Andrew Cromac

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Editor  Dr Andrew Cromac The Society of Army Historical Research, Special Publication No.18, £10.00+p&p postage and packing, 173pp, 38 ills, tables and maps. Copies are available from the Honorary Editor, Andrew Cormack (editor@sahr.org.uk). Invoices will be sent after posting. Please do not send money with your order. PayPal facility is avai…


British Divisional Commanders During the Great War - First Thoughts

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[This article first appeared some years ago in Gun Fire Edition 29. Although these are not dated, it is likely Gun Fire Issue 29 was published around 1995. All of these magazines are now available to WFA members' via the Member Login. Joining the Western Front Association gives you access not only to the 59 editions of Gun Fire but also to all 110+…


Just because it’s official doesn’t mean it’s right

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'It’s an ill wind …  ' The pandemic has certainly limited options, but at the same time it has focused minds. In my case and that of my collaborator Mick Rowson it concentrated our minds on some of the ‘problem cases’ we had failed to resolve on our roll of honour of Burslem men who were killed in the Great War. Burslem, the Mother Town of the Sta…


Friendly Fire: The Life and Death of Frank Downes

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Paul Brant, who has done splendid work in recording and preserving memory of the Great War in North Staffordshire, recently sent me a photograph of the stained-glass windows war memorial of Longport Methodist Church in Stoke-on-Trent. While Paul was taking the photographs he spotted another memorial stone that had apparently been placed in the chur…


‘A Worthless Scamp’: The Great War of Vincent Riley by John Bourne

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During the Great War Centenaries, Stoke-on-Trent’s local newspaper, the Sentinel, published many good and interesting features, often in its popular nostalgia section, ‘The Way We Were’.  But one recurring story annoyed me. The theme was summed up in a headline on 28 July 2018,‘Great War horrors turned brave soldier into the town drunk’.  The ‘town…


'Grandad’s War' by Prof. John Bourne

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Both my grandfathers were born in 1880, both were coal miners and both had large families. My paternal grandfather (and namesake) John Bourne was, according to my father, a very decent man, but I have rarely shown any curiosity about him. My maternal grandfather, Jesse Sheldon, has always been the most intriguing absence in my life. I think my inte…


A Family at War

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One of the most persistent and annoying heresies about the past is that it was much simpler than the present. We, the people of now, live complex, challenging lives; they, the people of then, lived simple, uncomplicated lives. There is a word to describe this, but I do not wish to bring the WFA into disrepute by placing it in print.  Perhaps I may …


The Search for Daniel Lightfoot

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The search began with the war memorial on the wall of a former pub, the Dog & Partridge, 5 Hot Lane, Burslem, which was opposite my primary school and at the back of the brickworks where my father worked.  I have known it virtually all my life. Only when my friend Mick Rowson and I decided to compile a Great War Roll of Honour for Burslem did I…


The Short, Sad Military Career of Thomas Adams by John Bourne

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My collaborator in compiling a Roll of Honour for Burslem, Mick Rowson, was recently attempting to maintain his sanity in these strange times by doing some ‘tidying up’ of our database.  His eye fell upon the name of Thomas Adams.  Our basic resource in compiling the roll of honour was Soldiers Died in the Great War [SDGW]. Above: The Cover of P…


"The 46th (North Midland) Division TF Revisited" by John Bourne

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We welcome John back to the branch.  His talk is a change to the advertised talk. The 46th Division was the first Territorial Division to deploy to the Western Front as a complete formation. With a partial and incompleted detour to Egypt in 1916, it spent the rest of the war there. The division suffered a disastrous baptism of fire at the Hohenzol…


The Even Shorter, Sadder Military Career of Thomas Beech

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Thomas Beech’s military service in the Great War lasted officially for thirty-five days. He attested on 5 January 1915 and killed himself on 1 February while home on leave.(1) He never served abroad. Thomas was born on 25 January 1885 at 16 High Street, Burslem, the so-called Mother Town of the Staffordshire Potteries.(2) His mother, Emily (née Fo…


Everard Wyrall (1878-1932): Military Historian

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Last April [2021] I was asked to supervise a Wolverhampton University MA dissertation on 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. The battalion was in 50th (Northumbrian) Division TF, so before doing anything else I consulted my copy of the divisional history by Everard Wyrall. And then something happened that might have happened at any point in the past fo…


Swanky Syd and the Bunny Girl

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Last summer [2021] a friend gave me a copy of Bombshell: The Night Bobby Kennedy Killed Marilyn Monroe (London: Ad Lib Publishers, 2021). This is not a book I would have bought myself, but I make it a point of honour to read anything gifted to me.  I’m glad I did.  I have no idea whether Bobby Kennedy killed Marilyn. The case is based on hearsay…