What’s On

The Bradford WW1 Group meets on the 4th Wednesday morning of each month, from 10.00am to 12 noon on the 2nd floor of the Mechanics Institute, 76 Kirkgate, We are a convivial and friendly group and you will be made very welcome indeed.  Membership is not required, all we ask is for a small admission fee to cover our meeting expenses. Our wide and varied programme of speakers cover a wide range of topics related to WW1.

2024 Programme

24 Jan –   Tim Lynch: Wakefield Partygate Scandal  

Since his previous visit to us, Tim has been researching Germans in Yorkshire during WW1, including POWs, Internees and naturalised Citizens. Bradford’s large number of resident German families makes this a particularly interesting topic for us. As always, Tim has discovered “lots of drama”, including the cross-dressing escapee and the Wakefield Partygate Scandal.

28 Feb –  Andy Wade: Men of Worth

Andy makes a welcome return and will once again, delve into his treasure trove of Men of Worth research.

27 Mar –  Nic Hooper: 

Casting fresh light on the 6th West Yorkshire at the Battle of Kemmel Hill, 25 April 1918. On our 2018 tour, Nick guided our walk around the 6th Battalion’s fight near Wijtchate. Since then, he has stumbled across hitherto unnoticed evidence that will change the way we think about the Battle of Kemmel Hill.

24 Apr –   Edward Evans: On writing a first World War novel

In 2018 Edward Evans published The Foundry Man’s Apprentice. The plot revolves around a group of young men emerging from a tough, post Victorian community to serve in the trenches where one of them faces a battlefield Court Martial. Edward’s novel clearly necessitated a considerable amount of research but his talk might inspire you to try your hand.

22 May –   Nigel Holden and Anne Buckley: The Skipton Camp – how German officers prepared themselves as saviours of the German economy in the anti German post-war world.

Anne and Nigel united by their key roles in the research on the Raikeswood POW camp in Skipton make a very welcome joint appearance. With a background in the world of management education including teaching and research roles across Europe, Nigel spotted that the German officers who offered ‘business’ courses at the camp were not only developing a subject area not previously taught in Germany, but they were also offering entirely novel solutions to Germany’s disastrous economic state.

26 Jun –  Dr Irfan Malik: The Dulmial Gun

Dulmial lies deep in the mountains of North East Pakistan and is a village steeped in military history. As part of British India, men of the village, including both of Dr Malik’s great grandfathers, responded to the call to arms. The 460 volunteers formed the largest contribution of any village in Asia and in 1925, the British Government offered the village an award: they chose to receive a cannon!

24 Jul    –  Peter Rafferty: The Jullunder Brigade – from India to the Western Front and the Middle East.

Brigadier (Retired) Rafferty MBE, DL, served over 30 years as a Regular Infantry Officer, holding commissions in the King’s Regiment and latterly as Colonel of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. His military deployments included theatres from the Falklands onwards. The lineage of the DLR includes the Manchester Regiment of which the 1st Battalion, alongside 47th Sikhs and 59th Scinde Regiments, constituted the Jullunder Brigade in WW1. Peter is cloely associated with the Jullunder Association which keeps alive the spirit of the Brigade and has links with primary schools across Lancashire,

28 Aug    Members’ Morning:  Bring and Tell   

This is an opportunity for Group members and friends to bring badges, artifacts, documents, books, family photos and stories to show the group, to be discussed and ‘chewed-over’ and even for identification. An informal and often fun session

25 Sept –  Rob Voakes: Filming the First World War films – films made during the war and films made in the decade.

Rob Voakes returns with another of his lively and beautiful research presentations. During and after the war documentary and narrative (films) served to reflect and shape the collective memory of the war across the range of war-film genre: combat, propagands, antiwar, gender-focused, home – front films, musicals, comedies and films focusing on the life of the war veteran. From newsreel to block buster, how do we assess these films today?

23 Oct –  Frank Skirrow: The training of young officers and its effectiveness when tested in battle.

Fraser’s track record of excellent talks guarantees invitations back to his Yorkshire roots; this could be his fifth visit to the Group. His topic will once again be illustrated with numerous examples drawn from local battalions, especially the second line Bradford and Harrogate Territorials, 2/6th and 2nd/5th West Yorkshire Regiment. Fraser describes these newly trained platoon- level officers as having “Most of the Work, Most of the Blame, None of the Credit”

27 Nov: –  Ed Caesar: Capt E.V. Tempest, soldier, politician, polemicist  Edwart Tempest DSO, MC wasat his best as author of the official Battalion History of the 6th West Yorkshire Regiment. As a Territorial volunteer himself, Tempest served with the Belle Vue based battalion for a good part of thw war – alongside his chums from BGS. Life took a different direction after the Armistice and, with his French wife at his side, Tempest engaged heavily in politics and journeyed to Eastern Europe. Ed Ceasar’s thorough research and spirited story telling are evident in ‘The Moth and the Mountain’ the story of another of Bradford’s war survivers – available in the Mechanics Institute Library.

18 Dec    Festive ‘Bring and Tell’

  This is an opportunity for Group members and friends to bring badges, artifacts, documents, books, family photos and stories to show the group, to be discussed and ‘chewed-over’ and even for identification. An informal and often fun session plus a mince pie with your drink