About the group:-
Talks, discussions and visits regarding Military History.
The group meets on the first Monday of each month between 10.30am and 12.30pm at the Fire Station Room, Pewsey.
For further details:-
Please send a message to the Military History Group Leader - Bob Greatorex
One of the popular Groups offered by Pewsey Vale U3A is Military History. At the December 2017 meeting we were entertained to a cracking presentation on the WW1 Battle of Loos (25 September 1915) which was the largest British offensive mounted on the Western Front.
Chris Green, who has visited the Group before and given members a graphic presentation on experiences in Afghanistan, this time told us about the involvement at Loos of the London Regiment of the Irish Rifles, and in particular about the “Loos football” incident. This involved the football team of the Rifles when Rifleman Frank Edwards laced up the ball, blew it up and lobbed it over into no-man’s land where it was kicked back and forth for quite a while, and has since become an iconic piece of wartime memorabilia in the Sergeant’s Mess. Chris had actually brought this very football with him, and went on to tell us about this devastating action of World War 1 and the horrendous losses suffered by both sides.
The Group meets in the Pewsey Fire Station rest room on the first Monday in each month with exceptions for bank holidays and August. Bob Greatorex is our chairman, whilst David Benest is ‘lead scout’ in the search for speakers such as Chris Green. David’s final years in the Army were exactly in this vein, opening links with academic centres of excellence, especially at Oxford, Kings College London and the University of Reading. The Group also has its share of ‘home grown’ speakers, such as Roger Beazley, formerly RAF and David, who has himself presented on the Falklands war, in which he took part.
Notable speakers in 2017 have included David Wheen, who spoke on his time as a company commander in 42 Commando in the assault on Mount Harriet in the Falklands. David has visited Argentina recently and took part in amicable reunions with those he fought in 1982. Dr Gregory Fremont-Barnes, from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, took us through the French campaign in Algeria. Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, then went on in September to explain the realities of Islamic State on behalf of the Barnabas Trust, Pewsey. Patrick is perhaps one of this country’s leading experts on this subject. Back to the First World War, David du Croz presented on the battles of Passchendaele exactly 100 years after the event. David was Head of History at Marlborough College. Next year, Keggie Carew, will be speaking on her father’s time with SOE in France and Burma in 1944-5 – Keggie presented on this at the Marlborough Literary Festival in October recently.