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Demobilisation Instruction No. 1: Dispersal drafts

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Army Council Instruction 16A of 4 January 1919 laid down the regulations for the composition of drafts of men to be sent for demobilisation. The regulations attapted to tackle the complex and sentivice task of sending men home as quickly as possible, but balanced by industrial and economic priorities and the continuing demand in certain […]

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Failed attack at Croisilles 28 March 1917

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Background This article focuses of the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, commanded at the time by Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Bentley Beauman DSO. It was under orders of 91st Infantry Brigade (Brigadier-General Hanway Robert Cumming DSO) of 7th Division (Major-General George de Symons Barrow). The battalion was amongst the most experienced and battle-hardened British regular […]

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The 9th King’s Own and disaster at Čaušli

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Background Anglo-French forces had begun landing at the Greek port of Salonika on 5 October 1915. The troops were sent to provide military assistance to the Serbian forces that had recently been attacked by combined German, Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian armies. The intervention came too late to save Serbia and after a brief winter campaign in […]

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John’s last letter

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Background Some years ago, my family visited a car boot sale near Leominster in Herefordshire. The children went off to find dinosaurs and action figures and whatever else they were interested in at that time, taking their mum with them. I have never been a big buyer or collector of anything but I am always […]

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Review of new guide to Arras battlefields

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Arras 1914-1918: a comprehesive guide to the battlefield: part 1: Arras South by Jim Smithson and Tim Wright published by Helion & Company in 2020 Paperback ISBN 978 1 912174 83 6 257 pages plus bibliography and index. Illustrated mostly black and white. Glossy paper. Colour cover and map section. Many readers of this site […]

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Evacuation of casualties from the Somme 1916

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This article is a summary of the activity of the evacuation of wounded, sick and injured casualties from the Somme sector in the period 24 June to 25 November 1916. My date range is wider than the normal definition of the Battle of the Somme (1 July to 18 November), to cover the period of […]