Remember in November…

November is a peculiar month. The wonderful colours of autumn are mostly gone, the days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting colder. It also isn’t quite close enough to Christmas to start getting the decorations out or embracing the Christmas music (however tempting!).  Regardless of this, November is also a very special month,Continue reading “Remember in November…”

My favourite time to guide…

As a military historian, battlefield enthusiast and all-round history nerd(!) I take great pleasure in going to the Western Front with and without groups to discover new places and new stories. As a battlefield guide, I have spent many a rainy and windy day telling students about the First World War and hope to doContinue reading “My favourite time to guide…”

46th (North Midland) Division at the Hohenzollern Redoubt

As you will be well aware by now, I have been highlighting some of the key battles that the 46th (North Midland) Division participated in during the First World War. So far, I have written about Gommecourt in 1916, Lens in 1917 and the St Quentin Canal in 1918. For this particular blog post, weContinue reading “46th (North Midland) Division at the Hohenzollern Redoubt”

46th (North Midland) Division – Battle of the St Quentin Canal – 29th September 1918

In previous posts about the 46th (North Midland) Division, I have often highlighted the, what I believe to be, unfair assessments made of the division’s capabilities after the attack on the village of Gommecourt on 1st July 1916. The reputation of having ‘a lack of offensive spirit’ followed the division until almost the end ofContinue reading “46th (North Midland) Division – Battle of the St Quentin Canal – 29th September 1918”

The task continues…

Last week I wrote a post about a research task that I had set for myself during lockdown; to find out how many men from my town were killed during the First World War. Whilst carrying out this task, I found that four men were had received gallantry awards; two being awarded the Distinguished ConductContinue reading “The task continues…”

A lockdown task…

I live in a town called Rowley Regis in the West Midlands. The town itself is more like a district in size and as such, there are five smaller towns that make up the wider area which are Blackheath, Whiteheath, Rowley Village, Old Hill and Cradley Heath. When I went out one day for myContinue reading “A lockdown task…”

What happened during the First World War? – July

1914 5th – Austria-Hungary seeks German support for a war against Serbia in case of Russian militarism. Germany gives assurances of support, the famous ‘blank cheque’. 23rd – The beginning of the ‘Black Week’. Austria-Hungary sends an ultimatum to Serbia, demanding (among other criteria) that Serbia formally and publicly condemn the “dangerous propaganda” against Austria-Hungary,Continue reading “What happened during the First World War? – July”

46th (North Midland) Division – A General History

The First World War has a very significant place in the collective memory of the United Kingdom, and other countries around the world for many reasons. One of those reasons being that ordinary young men who had never considered being in the armed forces before, were now enlisting in droves. The rapid expansion and recruitmentContinue reading “46th (North Midland) Division – A General History”

What happened during the First World War? – May

In this special monthly post, I will be highlighting key dates throughout the First World War. This post features the key events that happened during the month of May. 1915 7th – The sinking of the RMS Lusitania. In the autumn of 1914, the Royal Navy started a blockade preventing imports from getting to GermanyContinue reading “What happened during the First World War? – May”

The ‘Silent cities’ of the Western Front – Part 1

As a battlefield guide, I spend a lot of time around cemeteries and memorials. From a practical perspective, there are lots of key and interesting stories that you can tell whilst in a cemetery or by a memorial. You may have a Victoria Cross winner, family members buried or commemorated near to each other orContinue reading “The ‘Silent cities’ of the Western Front – Part 1”

How I became a battlefield tour guide…

I am incredibly lucky in the fact that I get to do something that I love as a job. I am a battlefield tour guide for Anglia Tours, and I spend my time doing what I am most passionate about, talking about the First World War. When I tell people that I am a battlefieldContinue reading “How I became a battlefield tour guide…”