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

Feb 13 2024 British Conscientious Objectors during the Great War
This talk is based on over thirty years'reearch, and Lois has published and spoken extensively on the subject. It will be tailored to include material relevant to our branch.
Dr Lois Bibbing
Mar 12 2024 TBC TBC
Apr 9 2024 The 21st Division on the Somme 1916
The story of three ultimately successful assaults during the Battle of the Somme. On 1 July, the Division captured and held its first objectives, resulting in the fall of the village of Fricourt the following day. On 14 July the 110th Brigade stormed the Bazentin Ridge, capturing the woods and the village. In September they played their part in the latter stages of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette culminating in the capture of the village of Guedecourt.
Dr Derek Clayton
May 14 2024 The Invisible Corps
A brief look at the Army Service Corps 1914-1918, revealing a story of evolution, passing the buck and meddling civilians.
Roy Larkin
Jun 11 2024 Escapers All
This talk is the stories of officers and men who escaped from German captivity 1914-1918. Richard will cover the preparation and planning of escapes, the consequences of failure, the escaping 'experience' and those who completed 'home runs'.
Richard Lloyd
Jul 9 2024 The Last Naval Hero
The extraordinary story of David, 1st Earl Beatty. Blessed with the Nelson touch, a matinee-idol image, and a ruthless and charistmatic personality, Beatty rose with meteoric speed from cadet to First Sea Lord and to statesman. This talk discusses his rapidly increasing fame and fortune, his marriage to an opulent, hedonistic American socialite Ethel, and his role as a national hero. It examines his central and controversial part in the greatest naval battle (Jutland) and later, the greatest naval surrender (Der Tag) as well as his 'Downton Abbey' lifestyle of marital strife and scandal.
Lt Cdr Roy Smart
Aug 13 2024 Branch Summer Meeting
A special evening to allow some greater social interaction than normal. There will be a couple of short talks by members along with a barbeque, raffle and an opportunity for members to bring along items for the interest of other members. Enjoy an evening with others sharing your interest in the Great War.
Sep 10 2024 Morris Meredith Williams - an Artist on the Western Front
Born in Glamorgan, Morris Meredith Williams was trained in London at the Slade School of Art but was working in Edinburgh as an illustrator and teacher at Fettes College when he joined up in April 1915. Commissioned into the 17th (Service) Battalion (1st Glamorgan), the Welsh Regiment's first Bantam battalion, he later transferred to the Royal Engineers. In France from June 1916 he filled pecket-sized sketchbooks with vivid images of army life in and behind the Front Line. These, combined with his correspondence with his wife, create a rare insight into a junior officer's days. This talk concludes with a brief look at the memorials on which they worked together after the war, including the famous frieze in the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle.
Phylida Shaw
Oct 8 2024 The Half-Shilling Curate
The only Great War padre awarded the Military Cross for gallantry, the Rev Herbert Butler Cowl served with the BEF in France and Flanders. He was severely wounded and returned home on the ill-fated HMHS Anglia when she sank on the Channel (the first hospital ship mined during the war). This talk draws on Cowl's letters and journals, communications to/from the War Office, letters from comrades in his battalion and newspaper accounts, to tell the story of this fascinating man. It is based on Sarah's book The Half-Shilling Curate.
Sarah Reay
Nov 12 2024 Haig and his Army Commanders
Haig's principal subordinates on the Western Front were the commanders of the five armies which formed the BEF in the field from 1916 to 1918. Some were controversial figures. In this talk Peter discusses Haig's relationships with these officers and examines their respective contributions to the BEF's operations.
Prof Peter Simkins
Dec 10 2024 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 Great War related subjects of their choice.

For directions and information about the Ed Shed please click here