Search results for Western Front.

SPECIAL OFFER: 'Two Sides of the Same Wrong Penny: Gallipoli and the Western Front: A comparison' edited by Michael LoCicero with contributions from Gary Sheffield, Stephen Chambers and others.


Announcing the launch of the Western Front Association / Helion publication: Two Sides of the Same Wrong Penny: Gallipoli and the Western Front, A Comparison The year 1915 saw the BEF severely challenged on the Western Front. Recovering from the loss of the majority of experienced regulars in 1914, a largely new army had to come to terms with t…

A Sergeant Major’s War. From Hill 60 to the Somme


Ernest Shephard. Edited by Bruce Rossor Published by The Crowood Press ISBN 1 85223 200 5 PB 157 pages £10 to £20 When Ernest Shephard was killed on 11th January 1917, at the “Chalk Pit” so ended this professional soldier’s life and diary. From the moment Ernest a loyal member of the Dorsetshire Regiment entered the war, he wrote his diary. He …

Brothers In War by Michael Walsh


ISBN: 978 0 09 190884 3  SB426pp £7.99 Published by Elbury Press.   Edited by Michael WalshThis book follows the lives of the eight Beechey brothers, sons of a Lincolnshire vicar and his wife. The boys were part of a family of 14 children. The book is based around letters sent to their widowed mother by the boys, the letters having been preserved …

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 …

Two Sides of the Same Bad Penny? Gallipoli and the Western Front, a Comparison


Editor Michael LoCicero Helion, £26.96, hb, 266pp, 22 ills, 4 maps, notes, refs and index. ISBN: 978–191–109–668–9 The sub–title – Gallipoli and the Western Front, A Comparison – suggests a comparative study of various aspects of these two quite different theatres of war. Given that the Gallipoli campaign was relatively short and that fighting o…

The Gallipoli Effect on the Western Front: Clive Harris


The Gallipoli Campaign can only realistically be described as a complete military defeat. From its conception, planning and execution through to eventual successful evacuation, a study of the campaign turns up error after error at the Operational level. Yet, as the last boats slipped their moorings, marking the end of Gallipoli, many of those who h…

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…

'Military Mining And The La Boiselle Project' with Colin Winn


Join us for a fascinating talk on Military Mining and the La Boiselle Project by Colin Winn Colin Winn is a retired weapons engineer specialising in the underground conflict.  He is a founder member of the Hawthorn Ridge Crater Association and is interested in the work of the 252 Tunnelling Company in the sector.   Colin will bring relevant artef…

'The Knutsford Lads Who Never Came Home!' a talk by Tony Davies


Join us for an interesting talk by Tony Davies about the lads from the village of Knutsford in Cheshire who never came home in the First World War. Based on his research into the men commemorated on the Knutsford War Memorial, and his book 'The Knutsford Lads Who Never Came Home', this well illustrated talk will give us a detailed insight into the…

Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army's Art of the Attack 1916-1918 by Paddy Griffith


286pp. Yale University Press 1994. ISBN 0-300-05910-8  This is an important book. In it, Paddy Griffith lays to rest a whole series of myths about the tactical performance of the BEF in the second half of the war. He turns received wisdom on its head by arguing that in almost every respect, the British army was far ahead of the Germans. In the dev…

ONLINE Zoom Meeting - Bullets, Bombs & Poison Gas: Supplying the troops on the Western Front 1914-18 by Dr Dave Rogers


ONLINE Zoom Meeting - Bullets, Bombs & Poison Gas: Supplying the troops on the Western Front 1914-18 by Dr Dave Rogers Soldiers in the trenches were issued with four bullets a day unless they were either snipers or manned a machine gun. This does not seem like a lot of bullets. However, four bullets a day is 28 per week and a million soldiers …

On the Western Front. Soldiers' stories from France and Flanders by John Laffin


Anthology of Anecdotes from France and Flanders 1914-1918 277pp casebound. £11.95. (1986 price) Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd., Brunswick Road, Gloucester.  [This review first appeared in Stand To! N0.16  Spring 1986] John Laffin has clearly been collecting unconsidered anecdotes of the war on the Western Front for a very long time to be able to …

'God in the Front Line by Dr Martin Purdy'


God in the Front Line by Dr Martin Purdy.       A look at the historic debate/argument about the role of Army Chaplains in the Great War, and the popular claim (think Robert Graves etc.) that Roman Catholic clergy were more often seen in the front line than their Anglican counterparts.  This talk addresses the main themes head-on, and scrutinis…

Using the Red Cross Records as a Resource For Researching British Prisoners of War/George Henry Archer - The Story Behind a Postcard


Unfortunately Roger Penny will not be able to give his talk on the Battle of the Marne from the French perspective as previously advertised. Instead John Beech will be giving a talk on Prisoners of the First World War - Using The International Committee of the Red Cross Records as a Resource   Chris Preston will be giving a short talk on Georg…

Michael O’Brien - 'There were no neutrals in the Trenches'


In this talk Michael O'Brien will give an account of those American citizens who died fighting in the British Army during the Somme Campaign from July to November 1916. Members and non-members of The Western Front Association are equally welcome. Any new visitors are guaranteed a friendly atmosphere and a warm welcome from a group of like-minded e…

'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…

Neuve Chapelle - a presentation by Ross Beadle


The branch welcomes Ross's return to discuss the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. Full of interest, Ross's talks are always entertaining but educating.   

'Thousands of Heroes Have Arisen' - Sukwinderr Singh Bassi


On Wednesday 14th of June we welcome Sukwinder Singh Bassi to our Hornchurch venue to present his talk about the service and sacrifices of Sikh soldiers during the Great War. The talk is based on letters send to and from Sikh soldiers on the Western Front and those convalescing  in England. These letters describe their wartime experiences in Europe…

Laugh or Cry: The British Soldier on the Western Front 1914-1918


Laugh or Cry: The British Soldier on the Western Front 1914-1918 Lively and supremely well informed, Peter Hart is a military historian specialising in the Great War. He was the Oral Historian at the Imperial War Museum from 1981 until his retirement and is the author of many Great War books. Here he is teamed up with his irrepressible collaborato…

Members' evening.


Tonight we will be having a number of short presentation from our branch members, details of the talks will be available on our Facebook page in the week before the event.

ONLINE: ‘The whole picture is realistic of battle : official war photography and public perceptions of the war' with Mark Connelly


The presentation with Prof Mark Connelly will be live and online.   It will explore the work of the key photographers on the Western Front, the different attitudes of the imperial governments and the effects on the viewing public. Further, it will show that the old cliché that the home front did not understand the actual conditions in the trenches…

‘From Picks to Rifles’ with Alan Grint


Alan Grint will tell the tale of local miners who joined the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve. The majority found themselves posted to serve as Infantry, and service at Antwerp, Gallipoli and on the Western Front followed. We suggest a voluntary donation of £3 per person. Come and join us – we welcome guests and first-time attendees as well as WFA Me…

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…

A Great War Christmas


Talk – ‘The Christmas Truce – It’s Place in the Public Imagination’ -Stuart Macfarlan.A look at why the Christmas truce of 1914 and its famous football match still loomslarge, via film and literature, in the public imagination 108 years after it happened. An interlude with festive nibbles and musical accompaniment- songs inspired by theGreat War -…

Albert French Commemoration


This year MK WFA and The Friends of the MK Rose are organizing the commemoration for Albert French, the sixteen-year-old lad from Wolverton who lied about his age to join up and was killed in action a week short of his seventeenth birthday. Readings from his letters home, music, British Legion standard bearers, wreath laying, and a bugler sou…

ONLINE - Western Front Way Webinar


Recently featured in Bulletin Magazine, The Western Front Way is a new application available for download which provides information on hiking and biking along the 1000km of the Western Front from the Franco-Swiss border to the Belgian Coast. It offers stage by stage distances, navigation, amenities, in-app content, stories, facts, and letters to s…

Ep.305 – Women doctors on the Eastern and Western Fronts – Dr Ann Robertson


Former medical consultant, historian and author, Dr Ann Robertson, talks about her research into female doctors’ service and the First World War.



Roads, Rails, Uniforms and Suits with Roy Larkin


We welcome Roy who will be telling the story of the reorganising of the Western Front supply line, revealing inter service rivalry and friction with the powers in London

The Story of the Unknown Warrior of Westminster Abbey by Gerry White


The tomb of the Unknown Warrior, which is located at the west end of the Nave of Westminster Abbey in London, symbolizes the courage and sacrifice made by members of the British armed forces who fell during the Great War. Ever since the Unknown Warrior was interred in the abbey at a State Funeral on 11 November 1920, his tomb has become a place of …

An Irish Family in War and Revolution by Denis Kirby


The decade between 1913 and 1923 was a time of war and revolution for the people of Ireland. It was also a time of divided loyalties. While over 200,000 Irish men served in the British armed forces during the Great War, thousands of others would join revolutionary groups like the Irish Volunteers to fight for an independent Irish Republic. This pre…

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Graves and War Memorials in Ireland by Tom Spillane


Over a number of years, Tom Spillane has visited cemeteries all over Ireland to photograph the headstones on Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) graves from the Great War. He has also photographed a number of war memorials and the headstones of service personnel buried in Ireland who survived the conflict. In this presentation he shares some …

A talk by Charles Fair on ‘The Changing character of the London Territorial Force 1914-1918


Charles Fair will focus on the case of the 19th (County of London) Battalion (St Pancras), The London Regiment.  This was essentially a working class battalion but Charles will show how the nature of the battalion changed through casualties and reinforcements throughout their service on the Western Front. Charles was a regular attender in the earl…

The 24th Infantry Brigade At Passchendaele - Martyn Watkinson


Martyn made his first visit to the branch in 2023 to give his talk on the painting 'Gassed' and has kindly agreed to return to give another talk on a subject of particular interest to him. This time, his talk will look at the 24th Infantry Brigade and it's involvement in the initial stages of the Third Battle of Ypres, and will in particular focus …

The First Air War - Grant Cullen


* Note this talk replaces the previously published talk. Grant Cullen from the Chesterfield Branch of the Western Front Association will be revisiting the branch to talk about 'The First Air War'. Grant's talk will look at various aspects of the first air war and he has advised me that the talk will include photographs which are not generally in…

'The Battle of Verdun' - Christina Holstein


The Essex Branch, in recent memory, has not addressed the Battle of Verdun, something we are putting right with the visit of Verdun expert Christina Holstein to our Hornchurch venue. What was the thinking behind the German offensive of February 1916 and why was Verdun chosen? A thundering opening bombardment brought early success but French determ…

'Management of Wounds Sustained by British Forces on the Western Front 1914-1918 by Tom Scotland'


This meeting is going to be the first talk given via Zoom with the speaker at home in Scotland while the members attend as usual. The timing and format will be the same just the speaker appearing virtually. Tom will talk tonight about the great changes which occurred to improve the management of soldiers wounded on the Western Front Tom Scotland …

Tanks and Storm Troopers : British and German Solutions to the Deadlock on the Western Front by A D Harvey


(This article first appeared in the June 2020 edition of Stand To! Number 118 pp.10-14.) By 1916 both sides were seeking a solution to the stalemate which had developed on the Western Front as a result of the almost insuperable advantage enjoyed by garrisons in carefully constructed defences over enemy troops attacking across prepared fire zones. …

‘Observation Balloons on the Western Front – an "over view" ' by Vernon Creek


About this talk: Many groups of combatants could claim to be the unsung heroes of the Great War. But the men flying observation balloons must have a particularly strong claim. Operating at 1200-1800 meters above the front lines, the crew had nothing between their feet and the ground but a centimetre or two of wicker basket. The crews (or 'balloonat…

'48th (South Midlands) Division in Western France & Italy' - A talk by Derek Plews


Derek's talk takes us to the Western Front and then Italy in the footsteps of the 48th (South Midlands) Division. This is Derek's first visit to the Branch. Our main photograph is of members of the 48th Division at Asiago

Three Days In The Great War - Dr Derek Clayton


Derek may be familiar to people as the author of 'From Pontefract to Picardy', which looked at the 9th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Great War.However, 'Three Days in the Great War' is based on his MA Dissertation and examines the performance of the 49th Division in set-piece attacks on 3 September 1916 at Thiepval, 9 October…

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry On The Somme 1916 - Stephen Barker


Stephen will be returning to give his talk on 'The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry on the Somme 1916' which highlights four significant battles of the campaign in which five Ox and Bucks LI battalions fought. The talk explains the political and military context, yet includes too a significant number of personal stories, anecdotes and…

About Us

The Western Front Association (The WFA) was formed with the purpose of furthering interest in First World War of 1914-1918. We also aim to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those who served their countries on all sides, across all theatres and fronts, on land, at sea and in the air and at home, during the Great War.

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