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  • keithmroberts

    How NOT to use blogs

    By keithmroberts

    This area is not for queries but for ongoing blogs. if you want to ask for help, please go to the appropriate sub-forum in the main part of the GWF. You have been asked to make your first post in a specified location. Once you have done that, your query can be raised in the various sections of the forum. If you previously posted a request for help or information in this area, it is likely to be deleted at some point in the next few weeks or months. So if you have a reply, please make a note o
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Ch 8

Ch 8 “So old man Baird ended up selling the mill to McCallion in what … 1920?” I asked Terry. “Amazing isn’t it?” replied the Librarian. “He comes home from the war, moves straight in to the office as under-manager and the next thing you know he’s bought the mill.” Terry knew my next question and swooped effortlessly to provide the answer: “You’re going to ask me where he got they money? The truth is I don’t know and in those days, as long as the bank manager had the readies in front of

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Ch 7

Ch 7 In the course of our conversation, imtermittently interrupted by miscellaneous bods on their way home from work, I learned some more about Kate Wills. Her husband was a city type who spent most of his time travelling between London and New York. Rarely seen about the place, most locals reckoned the two had come to a mutual agreement some time ago. “The only bloke about the place now is Max the butler,” confided Marina. “Does the shopping, pays the bills .. and God help anyone who de

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Failure at Suvla

I finished Travers chapter on Suvla this morning. My reading of it has been a bit patchy and spread over the last few days so I thought it a good idea to reflect from memory the reasons why I believe Suvla failed between 7 – 12 August (see how much I remember). First and foremost, poor communication. This starts at the very top with Hamilton and his Staff. Stopford neither requested clear instructions from Hamilton or gave clear orders to his Divisional or Brigade Commanders. Objectives we

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Ch 6

THERE are times when a bloke knows he’s out of his depth. I was down there with the weird creatures which inhabit the interior of the Lusitania. Bloody Great War history again. Grasping for an exit clause, I retreated to that inane response which plagues modern language. "At the end of the day, Mrs. Wills ... in a manner of speaking, I’m basically an amateur at this game. The talk is ok, the walk is something different altogether. "With all due respect, you would be much better served

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Artillery on Somme

[/i]Further to the task I set in my posting 5:45am - 1 July 1915 (just south of Mametz) Today I searched through various books on Haig, the Somme and the Artillery. My notes follow: Haig had originally wanted a short preliminary bombardment. Rawlinson was in favour of a long sustained shelling campaign and was supported by Birch (MGRA). The Artillery was inexperienced - as with the Infantry, many were new army men and they needed the experience of real combat conditions. Many o

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Ch 5

Three days later Willie McCallion was mopping up the remains of a plate of egg and chips in a warm but smelly estaminet just outside the village of Poperinge. He washed down the meal with a glass of rough French wine. Willie would have preferred a beer but past experience had taught him that the watery liquid which passed for Ale in 'Pop' was 'no bon'. Just 24 hours after hearing of the death of his brother, Willie and the Mudshire's had advanced into no-man's land in an ill-fated attempt t

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Ypres - November 2005

I will be in The Salient from 10th -13th November 2005 and hope to meet other Pals and members of the WFA. Although I have already placed a Post on the Forum regarding the matter I thought I would add an entry here too. I am staying at Essex Villa in Langemarck and will be in Ypres on both the 11th and 13th. For those who can make it, I look forward to saying Hello if you are in the area. PJ

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Ch4

Ch 4 The whiskey burned as it hit the back of Willie’s throat. He wiped his mouth and handed the beautifully monogramed hip flask back to Langley-Baston. The two men from opposite extremes of the social spectrum sat together in an evil-smelling dugout. "Second-Lieutenant Hartley was with your brother when he was killed," said the officer. "Seems they were on night patrol in no-man’s land when a Jerry star-shell caught them out. Mr. Hartley only made it back to our lines this morning. I’m

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Ch3

Ch 3 Mrs. Wills stopped the tape. I held my breath. "I’m sure you will agree that my great-grandfather was an honest man? From the recording I mean?" she asked. "Very much so. It all sounds very accurate to me .. from what I know, of course. It’s tremendous stuff," I assured her. For a moment Mrs. Wills hesitated. She turned to gaze out the bay window where she was framed in the bright sunlight. Ever seen the picture of Lady Di in the see through skirt? Yeah, you’ve seen it alright.

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Casualties ...

No time for much reading yesterday but I did flick through Haig's Diaires last night and made a mental note of two contrasting entries: 28 May 1915. During an inspection of troops by KGV, he was thrown from his horse. Haig was much "perturbed" by this. 2 July 1916. Haig reports in his diary that the early casualty estimates for the first two days fighting was 40,000, and noted "this cannot be considered severe in view of numbers engaged and length of front attacked" [or words to that eff

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Ch 2

For those who care .. I'll blog it from on. Gives me sumfink to stick in it. BEFORE the war, Willie McCallion had been ‘Sure and Steadfast’ - he didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke and he didn’t run after loose women. But that Willie McCallion had lived in a different time and place. The clean-living William of just a few years ago was now sucking the last drags from one of countless Woodbines and when the rum ration arrived -if it did -he’d be happy to take his tot with the rest of the boys. As

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5:45am - 1 July 1915 (just south of Mametz)

Another of those quotes I need to tuck away for future consideration: p 109 of Peter Hart's THE SOMME "5.45am ... we do not yet seem to have stopped his machine guns. These are pooping off all along our parapet as I write. I trust they will not claim too many of our lads before the day is over." source: Captain Charles Campbell MAY. May led "B" Coy/22 Manchesters into action and was killed later that same day, aged 27. Buried Danzig Alley. Son of Major and Mrs. C. E. May, of New Z

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Allied Command at Gallipoli

By this I really mean the British and Imperial Forces Command. I am about half way through Travers for the second time and it seems to me (and probably to many others) that irrespective of any other issues such as disease, difficulty of supply, minimal reinforcements, lack of artillery/shells etc, that there are two primary reasons why the Gallipoli campaign was not successful: 1) The quality of the Turkish command - in particular the shrewd decisions taken by Liman von Sanders and the i

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Rainbow Division in the Great War 1917-1919

by James J. Cooke on WHS online at £64. ISBN: 0275947688 "The Rainbow Division (42nd Infantry Division) was the premier National Guard division to fight on the Western Front in World War I. This is a history of the Division, from its arrival in France in December 1917, to its service in the Army of Occupation after the end of the war in 1918." Will this tell me whether G/G/Uncle Frank Mower served with The Rainbow Division?

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Hunter-Weston

The final dozen pages or so of Travers, Ch 5 (Fighting at Helles ...) are particularly damning on Hunter-Weston, which is no great shock. Contemporaneous quotes used by Travers are worth noting now incase they will be useful to reflect upon in the future: Godley (p 105) "... with all his faults Hunter-Weston was a gallant soul ... At the same time, one is rather thankful to think he will not be (as he calls it) 'blooding' Freddy Stopford's [iX Corps] reinforcements against Achi Baba". [Note

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Hamilton

Travers / Gallipoli 1915: p 103 – re Second Krithia “On 8 May, in the late afternoon, Hamilton desperate after realising the failure of three days of fighting, reverted to an antique concept of warfare. The whole line was to fix bayonets, slope arms and move forward en masse … Hamilton also quaintly wished for bands to play, or a display of colours, or at least a strong show of bayonets in order to encourage the French …” Can this be true?

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German counter shelling

p 86 of Hart's THE SOMME "The importance of the counter-battery role in destroying or subduing the German guns was frequently demonstrated when they opened up in retaliation. Every German shell that landed was a reminder of the destructive power that any surviving German batteries would have if they had not been dealt with before the moment the infantry went over the top." My understanding was that the allied bombardment concentrated on the various trench lines and not the German guns. Howev

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11th Manchester Regiment - August 1917

Just posted three photos of a casualty report found in WO95/1821 the Unit War Diary for the 11th (Service) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. These can be found in the Document Repository on the forum. I hope that they can be easily viewed and used. I am waiting for users comments on them. PAUL J

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Thesiger

Andy has sent me the photos of the area that Thesiger was killed and they will add to the story of him and his death. He has also offered some other photos of the battlefeild. I hope he has some of the area that the reserve operated.

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Commodore Roger Keyes

Was re-reading the Travers chapter on 25 April this morning. Keyes comes in for a lot of criticism for various reasons. This is a serious dent to the esteem I held him in - not quite the Nelsonian figure I had thought, or at least not at certain stages of the Dardanelles campaign and specifically not the action surrounding 25 April. Capt Lockyer of the Implacable on the other hand does appear to embody the Nelson spirit. Further reading on these items necessary.

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Col Braund - Malone's view

Re-reading Travers Gallipoli 1915 and note in Ch-4 Malone's intention to get Braund court-martialled. In circumstances of chaotic action and fact Braund held hill around top of Walkers Ridge/Russell's Top that Travers comes down onside of Braund. Mental note to find out how Braund's (posthumous) reputation, and how his actions in early fighting, were viewed by Bean, Aspinall etc.

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