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The Vote

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The Vote

In the Nineteenth century a number of reform acts were passed which greatly changed the face of British politics. These reforms forced the elite and ruling class to pay particular attention to the many concerns put forward by the ordinary people. However, these acts still left a great many without the opportunity to vote. In total 40% of men aged over 21 that did not meet property requirements and could not vote and ALL women remained disenfranchised. Prior to the Great War there had been much campaigning with respect to the right to vote...

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Winston Churchill in World War One

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Winston Churchill in World War One

Many of you will have been to the cinema recently to see the film Darkest Hour which depicts the forty days in which Winston Churchill was made Prime Minister and consequently his dealings with members of his cabinet and the evacuation of the BEF from France via Dunkirk. Gary Oldman plays him wonderfully, although I would have liked his voice to sound slightly more like the great man’s. Having read quite a few books about Churchill, and being one who enjoys a Cuban cigar every now and then, I have been asked lots of questions about Sir...

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The Rebuilding of Ypres

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The Rebuilding of Ypres

Many of you have been on a battlefield tour with Rifleman and stayed in the beautiful Belgian city of Ypres. People are amazed when told that the town was more or less completely destroyed during the four years of the Great War to the extent that by the end of the war, you could sit on horseback in the Grote Markt and see from one side of the city to the other such was the destruction.  But what also fascinates visitors is that it has been completely rebuilt in its former image and these few paragraphs tell that story. Ypres is a medieval...

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The Story of Walter Tull

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The Story of Walter Tull

If you study World War One and are a follower of football then the name Walter Tull should be instantly recognisable to you. If not then here is his story. Walter Tull’s father was a carpenter from Barbados in the West Indies who came to England in the 1880’s and married a local woman. Adversity was no stranger to Walter being of mixed race and at the age of ten things became worse when both his mother and father died. From then on Walter and his brother Edward were brought up in a Methodist Orphanage in Bethnal Green, East London. Excelling...

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The Perfect Gift

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The Perfect Gift

It’s that time of the year again where you struggle to think of that perfect Christmas gift for the person who has everything? Let us help! We have a wide choice of two, three, four and five day WW1 and WW2 battlefield tours. We even have gift vouchers that can contribute to a battlefield tour. We can arrange a personal visit to a particular cemetery or memorial to remember a family relative. Maybe someone you know has always wanted to witness, or take part in, The Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres or are they partial to a Belgian...

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The Menin Gate Lions return to Australia

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The Menin Gate Lions return to Australia

For the last seven months the Last Post Ceremony under the Menin Gate has taken place under the watchful eyes of the Menin Gate Lions. These two proud looking beasts originally stood as guardians either side of the Menin Gate before and up to the First World War. Damaged in the bombardment and destruction of Ypres they were given to the Australian Government by the people of Ypres as a thank you to the sacrifice by 13,000 Australian soldiers in Belgium. Their full story can be read in one of our earlier blogs click here. Once in Australia...

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Battle of Cambrai 100 Years Anniversary

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Battle of Cambrai 100 Years Anniversary

The Battle of Cambrai was an attack launched in November 1917 against the vaunted Hindenburg Line and is known for the first use of tanks en masse having been used firstly on the Somme in September 1916. These great lumbering machines helped break the deadlock on the Western Front but were criticised for being prone to mechanical failure and also being very slow which therefore made them easy targets for heavy artillery. Attempts to use them in battle before Cambrai had all ended in disaster Cambrai was chosen as the place for using tanks...

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The Armistice of 1918 and its signing

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The Armistice of 1918 and its signing

By October 1918 General Ludendorff, the Quartermaster General of the German Armed forces, had to admit that his plan to hold the Allies at the Hindenburg Line had failed and that his last reserves were now exhausted. His troops were demoralised and worn out and the time had come to seek the first opportunity to sue for peace. The propaganda machine in Germany had broken down and the Allied blockade was taking its toll on the German people, they were starving and disturbances were breaking out. The Kaiser was being asked to abdicate and there...

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The Canadians at Passchendaele

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The Canadians at Passchendaele

The Third Battle of Ypres which would become better known as Passchendeale would start on the 31st July 1917. Throughout the month of August, German counter attacks had limited the success expected by the British General Sir Douglas Haig. A swift change in Army commanders (Plumer replacing Gough) helps somewhat and throughout the following months of September and October, British and Australian troops made a series of gains using short sharp attacks known as bite and hold. However their main objective the Passchendaele Ridge, which...

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Anzac Day

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Anzac Day

Held every 25th of April, Anzac Day marks the first campaign in which major casualties were suffered by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Celebrated now as a day that remembers and honours all Australians and New Zealanders who have served and died for their country, it should not be forgotten that Anzac Days foundations was to honour and remember the members of this corps who fought during the Great War at...

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