Cheltenham Western Front Association


These meetings will be held at The Ed Shed situated at the rear of the Gloucester Folk Museum:
99-101 Westgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2PG

Nov 9 2021 Cheltenham in the Great War
Cheltenham in the Great War is the first book to portray the town, its people and the impact of the `war to end all wars' from the declaration of war in 1914 to Armistice Day in 1918. Almost 1,000 Cheltenham women left by train every day for munitions work, hundreds made airplanes in the Winter Gardens, many were nurses and most former suffragettes joined the WVR. Why did two schools do double shifts and for what did the townspeople raise GBP186,000 in one week in 1918? How did Cheltenham cope with 7,250 soldiers billeted in the town and `khaki fever'? This book gives an insight into the lives of different social classes in Cheltenham - including stories of remarkable women - and how their war was fought on the Home Front.
Neela Mann
Dec 14 2021 Members’ Evening
For our December meeting we draw on the wide and varied expertise and knowledge of our Branch members. We have a small selection of ten-minute length presentations throughout the evening on a Great War related subjects of their choice.
Jan 11 2022 Clearing The Dead: 1919 - 1939
There is currently considerable interest in battlefield archaeology. Between the wars, however, a process similar to modern archaeology was carried out to attempt to unearth the missing and bury them properly in IWGC cemeteries. How was this done? Who did it? What were their experiences?
Peter Hodgkinson
Feb 8 2022 Gloucester and the City's Reaction to the Armistice in 1918
In this talk the immediate days after the Armistice are covered and then the next couple of years to look at how civilian life and the returning troops inter-related. It looks at homes fit for heroes, how the immediate armistice was celebrated and the lack of harmony between the civil authority and those who had fought.
Tony Conder
Mar 8 2022 London Buses at the Front
This talk discusses how the London omnibus found its way onto the Western Front and the role it played once there.
Roy Larkin
Apr 12 2022 A Neutral View of the War? - The Work of the Cartoonist Louis Raesmaekers
During the First World War, Dutch editorial cartoonist Louis Raemaekers was a fierce critic of the German invasion of Belgium and France. He played a key role in Allied propaganda with his internationally acclaimed war cartoons. In 1917, Raemaekers travelled across the United States in order to persuade Americans to support intervention in the war.
Michael O'Brien
May 10 2022 Fusille Pour L'Exemple - The 740 French 'Shot at Dawn'
After the shame of 1871, and the humiliating failure of Plan XVII in August 1914, the French General Staff blamed their troops. Joffre removed any form of legal safeguard or political control over from the system
of military justice. The result was arbitrary injustice, whereby over 477 soldiers were shot by
April 1916 when political supervision was restored.
John Reid
Jun 14 2022 Ypres and Remembrance
Prof. Connelly explores the special place of Ypres in British commemoration 1914-39, the feelings of pilgrims, the role of the Ypres League and the rise of an Anglo-Belgian community as ex-service IWGC gardeners married local women and started families.
Prof. Mark Connelly
Jul 12 2022 Not Quite Fitting the Mould : A Fresh Look at Some Brigade and Battalion Commanders on the Western Front, 1916-1918
Always in the vanguard of revisionism, Peter has studied the developing effectiveness of the BEF from the mid war offensives to the final battles of 1918. The delegation of tactical responsibility driven down the ranks from High Command to juniour officers and beyond ultimately, with new technlogies and methods, led to the successful warfare of the 'Hundred Days'. No where was this more important than than in the middle ranks of Brigade and Battalion command.
Peter Simkins MBE
Aug 9 2022 Ernst Junger - Following Gemany's War Hero
Ernst Junger volunteered in 1914 and fought throughout the conflict on the Western Front recording his experiences in several books, foremost of which, 'In Stahlgewittern' (Storm of Steel) provided a detailed picture of the realities of combat in an industrialised war. His writing provides a fascinating counterpart to many of the contemporary Bristish accounts. Never convinced by Nazism, Junger survived the Second World War and continued his carrier as an author becoming a defacto ambassador for the ordinary German soldier. Mike McCarthy tests the veracity of his accounts.
Mike McCarthy
Sep 13 2022 The 10 Decisions that decided the Battle of the Marne
The First Battle of the Marne fought from 6 to 12 September 1914 resulted in an Allied victory against the German armies in the west. By 9 September, the success of the Franco–British counteroffensive left the German 1st and 2nd Armies at risk of encirclement, and they were ordered to retreat to the Aisne River. The German retreat brought to an end the Moltke-Schlieffen plan to crush the French Armies in the field and began the process of solidifying the western front. The decisions that brought about this turnaround in allied fortunes are examined in detail.
Ross Beadle
Oct 11 2022 The 'Spanish' Flu Pandemic 1917-19
An explanation of the epidemiology of the pandemic and a discussion of its effect on the progress of the war effort in 1918, especially from the German point of view.
Dr Jane Orr
Nov 8 2022 The Empire strikes back - the Battles of Trekkoppies and Gibeon 1915
For most of the campaign in South West Africa the German Schutztruppe spent their time retreating but on two notable occasions they took to the offensive. With modern day battlefield photographs this is the tale of the two battles one of which saw Rolls Royce armoured cars going in action.
James White
Dec 13 2022 Members’ Evening
For our December meeting we draw on the wide and varied expertise and knowledge of our Branch members. We have a small selection of ten-minute length presentations throughout the evening on a Great War related subjects of their choice.

For directions and information about the Ed Shed please click here