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BATTLES


LATEST NEWS AND LINKS CONCERNING BATTLEFIELDS
Most recent entry? JANUARY 2015

No 75 Neil Powell's Unusual Website

Planning a trip and need help? Click here.  Need help with making a visit? Click Smiley.

 

What is latest news?
Just about any recent or planned event or activity to do with the battlefields that we write about that is either news to us and/or we believe will be of help to others. The list is edited regularly, however if we do miss removing a site that is no longer relevant please let us know - battlefields@guide-books.co.uk with 'Site Edit' in the subject line. Thankyou.

FIRST   A QUICK LOOK AT THE   HEADINGS ONLY

Then scroll down for more details or click the Link for the relevant website

  • 65. Legasee is an Organisation dedicated to recording in sound and vision the memories of war veterans from all conflicts. -  More ...
  • 66. Tony Allen has a fascinating website that links hobby of deltiology (collecting picture postcards) and photographic records of the First World War - More ...
  • 67. Jos Bex, based in Holland, runs small group battlelfield tours that offer bespoke facilities. He is particularly good on the American aspects of MARKET- GARDEN. More ...
  • 68. Simon Harrold established his Virtual Museum in 2000 and averages around 80,000 visitors a year. It began ......More
  • 69. The Liberation Route. This is a remarkable project to sign the Allied route to victory from the UK to Berlin. Already begun in the Netherlands it now ...More
  • 70. The Band of Brothers tv series is probably known to most readers and the organisation with the same name, based in Holland, can take you where the Brothers went........ More
  • 71. The Screaming Ducks. This is a Living History Association in Holland which began in the 1990s and whose name is the slang title of the US 504 PIR...More
  • 72. Expert Training for those who want to be a Battlefield Guide...........More
  • 73. Maurice Savage has a most unusual service in providing video clips of a large range of battlefields of value to travellers and to researchers ..... More
  • 74. Rhydian Vaughan ex Welsh Guards runs battlefield tours .... More
  • 75. Neil Powell has set up a most imaginative and innovative reference site that offers original research material at astonishingly reasonable prices. Have a look.

DETAILS

 

17. Jeremy Tenniswood announces a web site for Militaria Collectors

Jeremy Tenniswood has specialised in vintage military firearms, medals, bayonets, uniforms, bayonets and swords for over 30 years. Now Tenniswood are developing a new web site that they believe will be 'one of the largest online catalogues of military collectables in the world'. Tenniswood do not just offer collectables but from a deep background of knowledge can guide and advise the collector. Military Collectables  telephone +44 (0) 1206 368787

Web site  www.militaria.co.uk

 

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25. A Long Engagement

Do go and see this film. It is a sentimental story and not all of the contemporary military hardware is strictly accurate but for battlefield scenes of WW1 it cannot be beaten. The absolute degradation experienced by those in the field is there for all to see and to sense. The story is that of a young girl whose fiance is supposed killed (after being court martialled) in No Man's Land and she spends years trying to find out what happened to him. The scenes of action are compelling and the buzz and hiss of bullets almost makes one want to duck. You will talk about this.

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30. DEAD MAN'S CORNER MUSEUM - St COME

This is a very unusual museum and well worth a visit. It is based in a house that was used by Major von der Heydte and the German 6th Parachute Regiment during the Normandy fighting. It is superbly presented with excellent dioramas some whose figures have the faces of those who actually fought here. Adjacent to the museum is 'The Paratrooper' an emporium of memorabilia all for sale, ranging from original ration packs to uniforms. The story of the name is told in the museum and supplemented with showcases full of personal items from the period. The venture is Phase 1 of a project by the Carentan Historical Center and the prime movers are curator Frederic Fourquemin, Belgian publisher Michel de Trez and D-Day expert Emmanuel Allain of Caen. Contact Dead Man's Corner Museum    

Website www.paratrooper-museum.org

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32. A GREAT MUSEUM ON THE SOMME - GO THERE

Finding a museum that has real artefacts in this age of electronic wonders is difficult and no matter how much effort is put into recreating trench and other scenes in places far from the battlefields there is always a sense of artificiality. This is where the Somme '14-18' Trench Museum is different. It is found in the tunnels under the Basilique in Albert and has dramatic sound effects, convincing dioramas, displays of genuine artefacts and just that edge of dampness that brings home a whiff of the reality of trench warfare. There are captions in three languages and a book shop. Groups are welcome. Somme Museum Albert.

www.musee-somme-1916.org

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33. AN ON-THE-SPOT GUIDE IN NORMANDY AND NONE BETTER

Many visitors to Normandy travel by themselves and not on conducted tours but trying to visit the landing beaches can be very difficult. Much time can be wasted looking for the memorials and museums never  mind where to eat or to stay. Even finding a good local guide is not easy. However all those problems are now solved. Visit Your Local Normandy Battlefield Guide where Danielle Dusbosq, born and living in Normandy, provides all the answers. Danielle spent some years as a tourist officer in the region and has for many years conducted  both groups and individuals around the landing beaches and other tourist areas of Normandy. She speaks English fluently which can be a great help in particular to those visitors coming from North America. She can chauffeur her own vehicle for those who do not wish to drive themselves.

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38.LA SOMME REMEMBRANCE ASSOCIATION exists to keep alive the memory of those soldiers who fought on the Somme during the First World War. It also organises ceremonies and erects memorials. In March 2007 a memorial to Pte C Cox was unveiled near Achiet le Grand. Details at www.somme-remembrance.com

39. Paul Reed's Site www.battlefields1418.com has been established for 8 years and offers much background on WW1 battles and advice on visiting all parts of the Western Front. Paul is a highly experienced battlefield guide with a degree in history. Have a look at it before you decide how you are going to travel.

40. Mike Hanlon's Trenches on the Web www.worldwar1.com is a superb collection of information, contributed articles and links. Fully searchable, the site provides a tangible connection between British and American enthusiasts and must vie for the title of 'Best WW1 site on the Web'.

42. Remembering the Fallen http://ww1cemeteries.com - this is the opening statement by Brent Whittam and Terry Heard who created the site -

'The original idea behind this site was to record our visit to all 940  1914-1918 Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemeteries with 40 plus burials in France and Belgium. In all it has taken us 6 years to complete the task that we set ourselves back in 1998. Our aim at the time was to visit and pay our respects in each of the cemeteries in Sidney Hurst's  book "The Silent Cities", we are proud to be able to say that we have walked around each and every one of those cemeteries ' There is much to see and to learn.

43. Joe Bristow, one time enduro motor cyclist, hurt his knee, and having come across Old Bill while searching the internet, decided that he wanted to collect BB things to fill the gap left by being unable to race. His story is on his website http://www.olebill.zoomshare.com. Recently he was filmed by the Antiques Road Show and so Old Bill's march into the public eye continues. Comines-Warneton in Belgium have now erected signs and information boards for the Bairnsfather Memorial plaque on the cottage at St Yvon.

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44. Frans Ammerlaan is a Dutchman who is steeped in the history of Operation Market Garden and has been involved for many years in making sure that the men who fought to liberate his country are not forgotten. He is one of the founders and organisers of the extraordinary website www.marketgarden.com and has helped us with our own guide book to the battlefield. He is now available as a local guide for those who wish to have an informed tour of the area. Contact him at frans@marketgarden.com

45. Bespoke Battlefield Tours. James Power a former policeman has been visiting the battlefields of the First World War for over 30 years and conducting tours for a dozen years and offers small - half a dozen or less - accompanied tours or planned self conducted visits. Have a look at Click here

46. David Cohen is well known in the militaria dealing and collecting fields. He specialises in Fine Art drawings, paintings and scuptures of the First World War and has done so for over 2 decades. He and his wife Judith have been friends of ours for many years and we can highly recommend their site and their expertise. www.dcfa.com

47. Steve Douglas, a Canadian living in Ypres, is the prime mover behind a project to Remember Canada's War Dead. The Maple Leaf Project is a Registered Charity and supported by volunteers sets out to remember Canadians from all conflicts including Afghanistan. Extremely comprehensive and well presented the site should rank alongside the CWGC site for all Canadians seeking information about their loved ones lost in combat.

www.mapleleaflegacy.ca

48. Alan Jennings was introduced to the Great War through its poetry while at school but it was not until some years later that he was able to visit the battlefields. His site www.ww1battlefields.co.uk chronicles his visits and sets out to help all those who like him feel determined that those who fought and died must be remembered. There are maps and photos, words of advice and direction to a site that can help with research. This is a good one - have a look at it.

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49. We have not, up to now, listed any battlefield tour companies here because the quality of such tours is extremely variable both in historical content and in value for money. Some offer low brochure prices after which the unfortunate traveller finds that just about everything other than a seat on the coach has to be paid for individually while others are comprehensive and well planned. However Ian Alexander has for many years been a solid supporter of remembrance, appearing frequently as a piper at ceremonies eg the 1 July commemoration at Lochnagar, and was the prime mover behind the Piper's memorial at Longueval. Therefore we mention here the War Research Society. The War Research Society was founded in the 1980s by former police officers, ex servicemen and others to develop guided tours to the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars.
Their itineraries have expanded to include South Africa, Russia and Singapore etc and they have helped organisations like the Royal British Legion and the Lancastria Association to organise pilgrimages.
Further details at http://www.battlefieldtours.co.uk


50. A splendid Doughboy Statue was unveiled to the 28th Infantry Regiment of the American Big Red One on 28 May 2008 at Cantigny in the presence of General Craddock Supreme Commander Allied Forces in Europe. The figure was sponsored by the McCormick/1st Division Foundation www.cantigny.org

51. The War Graves Photographic Project is probably the most innovative and exciting development associated with battlefields and remembrance that has ever come our way. The project is co-ordinated by Steve Rogers (steve@twgpp.org). It is a volunteer organisation working in association with the CWGC to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, post-war grave and family memorial of serving military personnel from WW1 to the present day. These names are available within a searchable database which is being added to daily but currently holds around 900,000 names.

The work of the Project and its volunteers in recording for posterity these images echoes the work of the CWGC to 'Remember in Perpetuity'. The archives will be of national importance to researchers but will be of particular relevance to those families who have not had the opportunity to visit the grave of a relation.

Further details and information about becoming a volunteer can be found on the website www.twgpp.org

52. Bondue Museum near Lille is mounting a temporary exhibition about Resistance during the First World War describing the Underground Press,  Intelligence Networks and links with the British Secret Services. Opening times are complex - contact hpriego@mairie-bondues.fr

53. Details and contacts related to Special Forces can be found at combinedops.com

The site includes a Roll of Honour, the opportunity to donate to a memorial at the National Arboretum, a Notice Board for veterans, relatives and others and useful links.

56. The Somme Tourist Authority (Comite du Tourisme de la Somme) has a most informative web-site at www.somme-tourisme.com. If you are going to the Somme for whatever reason it is a good idea to pay this site a visit. However if your French only stretches to beer and chips try www.somme-battlefields.com

57. 'War Horse' is the stage version of Michael Morpurgo's book and anyone with a heart must go and see it. The story is fairly predictable but the stage sets are astonishing and the 'horses' are quite beyond belief. It is the story of one man and one horse in the First World War and onto the stage thunders a tank and a gun pulled by four horses with Germans and Brits and a young French girl and .............. Well go and see it and if you don't cry at the end you should do. The kids will be enthralled. The run at the National has finished but it will be on somewhere!

58. The Ogilby Trust was founded in 1954 by the late Colonel Robert Ogilby DSO, DL and has played and continues to play a significant role in the development of some 136 UK Regimental and Corps Museums. The Trust offers advice on Army ancestor research and a Newsletter is available.

59. The War and Peace Show is organised by Rex Cadman and his team. Rex will go anywhere at any time to recover a military vehicle - whatever its condition and wherever it is and that enthusiasm shines through this extraordinary event. There are soft skinned vehicles, tanks and even a submarine but that only scratches the surface of this remarkable extravaganza - living history, re-enactors, stalls, a raffle for a jeep, off road driving, motor bikes - well the only way to see just how much there is, is for families and enthusiasts alike to visit the website  www.warandpeaceshow.co.uk and then go to the event If you missed it this year - go next year..

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60. We understand that veterans who wish to visit the battlefield where they fought can apply for a grant to help with their travel expenses. An application form can be downloaded from www.biglotteryfund.org.uk , phone help is at 0845 410 2030.

61. West Point graduate and ex US Army Major Lillian Pfluke worked for 10 years with the US Battle Monuments Commission in Paris with responsibility for US Private Memorials in Europe. She became aware of the need for action to be taken to save many of the sadly deteriorating memorials and on leaving the army last year set up the non-profit organisation American War Memorials Overseas. She plans to 'document, promote and preserve all war memorials honoring Americans located outside the United States.' The site is very much in preparation but by visiting it and signing up to a Newsletter visitors can be kept up to date. www.uswarmemorials.org

62. The Campaign Trails series of Audio Books now features Anzio, Arnhem, Hastings, Agincourt, Route Napoleon, Waterloo, Ypres, the Somme, Mons and le Cateau, the Falklands, Cassino and D-Day. Each CD is a spoken account of the campaign covered which can be used on the ground or while travelling.

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63. Andy Farr and Les Tanner specialise in signed books and limited edition prints and contribute a small amount from each sale to military charities.

65 Dave Player, Director of Operations for Legasee, which was set up on 11 Feb 2011, has told us that in the first series of recordings they have Col Bob Stewart, General Sir Mike Jackson and Rusty Firmin (SAS Iranian Siege) among others. This is a social history project whose work will be made available to schools, libraries and members of the public. Any veteran interested in taking part in the project is urged to contact Legasee via their website or via e mail. dave@legasee.org.uk

66. The Daily Mail Official War Postcards. Until 1916 and the battle of the Somme no ‘official’ photographs of the frontline were allowed to be published. Probably in anticipation of a great victory the British Government sought an organisation that would use pictures of British troops and publish them as postcards. The Daily Mail won the contract and published 176 cards using 105 official photographs. We told the story in our 1971 book ‘Picture Postcards of the Golden Age’ but Tony Allen has gone into much greater detail and has produced an e book on the subject which can be bought via his website.  Collecting these cards is an economic way of finding more about the First World War and having the thrill of the chase to find all 176.  http://www.dailymailwarpostcardsebook.co.uk

67. Jos Bex was born in Nijmegen right in the middle of the area where MARKET GARDEN took place. As a result he met many American veterans which sparked his interest in the campaign leading to his becoming a  re-enactor. He is Secretary of the Never Forget Them Association and lectures in schools on the need to Remember. Now living near Arnhem and an Honorary Member of a number of Veterans Organisations, he offers bespoke tours via the website  www.eto-tours.nl

68. Simon Harrold's grandfather brought home from WW2 a Mills grenade which Simon found in a shed and he 'spent some time throwing it about'.  Thus began a fascination with battlefield relics which has led to this site where contributors can upload pictures and details of such relics in their collections. As the site makes clear - This is not a treasure hunters swap - meet. We only wish to illustrate the vast array of relics that have come to light over half a century after the guns fell silent. Well worth a visit. http://www.lerenfort.fsnet.co.uk

69. The Liberation Route. The route of the Allied advance from the UK via Normandy to Berlin is being marked by boulders which carry short explanatory details and work as 'Listening Posts' where by using a mobile phone recorded details from those who were there can be heard. There are currently 50 some stones in position beginning in Arnhem-Oosterbeek and many of the accounts they carry of the actions were written by Wybo Boersma a former Director of the Hartenstein Museum in Oosterbeek. . The website is an excellent facility allowing filtered searches along the Netherlands section for memorials, cemeteries, points of interest etc. www.liberationroute.com

70. The Band of Brothers started as a website and has now burgeoned into ‘an information base on all allied paratroopers, their gear, uniforms, vehicles and heritage’. The organisation offers Living History and and re-enacts the progress of the US 101st Airborne Division in Europe and participates in commemorations of Operation MARKET-GARDEN.  www.band-of-brothers.nl

71. The Screaming Ducks began with three friends who were determined to remember those who had brought their country its freedom in WW2. To quote from their website -

We are dedicated to preserving and using Military Vehicles, Uniforms and Gear from World War Two, as well as Research in - and Commemoration of - the men who risked their lives for global freedom. We attend and organize Historical Tours and Living History events and participate actively in the contacts with WW2 veterans. This site is a must -see for anyone thinking of visiting the Market Garden area.

http://www.screamingducks.com/

72. Train to be a Battllefield Guide. Since we began battlefield tours in the 1970s when we were the only people doing them, such tours have become a stand-alone tourist industry and now dozens of organisations offer them though they vary greatly in quality. Good, well informed and trained guides are available through the Guild of Battlelfield Guides but where to start? Mike Peters has established a series of training sessions for those who wish to enter what is rapidly becoming a profession in its own right. Have a look at www.tgt-v.com

73. Video clips of battlefields can offer an excellent way of becoming familiar with one's destination before leaving home. Maurice Savage offers such clips for battlefields that range from Ypres, via the Somme & Normandy to the American Civil War. His website offers excellent  samples of his work. www.videohistorytoday.com

74. Battlefield Tours run by an former soldier always have that extra dimension of learning from someone who has worn ammunition boots and what that means. Rhydian Vaughan, a member

of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and former Welsh Guardsman,  is that guide and he has a cracking website at www.battlefieldtours.co

 

75. Neil Powell, a qualified historian and ex army officer has established a unique site that provides access to archival material from wars as diverse as the American Civil War and the First and Second World Wars. BattlefieldHistorian.com offers original photos, documents and maps as well as audio accounts.

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Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps