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David Bardell and Mick Byrne became friends in 2015. Having discovered we shared a passion for military history, particularly WW1, we have enthusiastically pursued our common interest.

We have visited the Battlefields around Ypres and The Somme each year and broadened our knowledge of the subject.

We launched our first Talk, Shot at Dawn, which we have delivered to a number of Groups and received complimentary feedback.

Crimson Fields was our second Talk and we have continued to develop a portfolio of Talks that we hope will be of interest to you.

We’d like to share our stories with Groups. We explore the background to, and the stories behind, the events bringing  them to life.

Fiona Goodyear

Crimson Fields, Alstonefield & District RVS Friendship Club on 3rd April 2024

Mick's talk was both informative and moving. It was very professionally presented with old photographs and voices used to good effect. His wide-ranging stories and anecdotes kept everyone spell-bound. There is something to interest everyone in this talk.

Geoff White

Shot At Dawn, North Staffs / South Cheshire Western Front Association on 11th March 2024

Many thanks to you and Mick for coming to our branch and speaking to us on such an evocative subject in respect of which people will inevitably hold differing views. As the meeting broke up I picked up a general sense that members had enjoyed the talk and had found it informative. A couple of emails have also been received to that effect. 

Rob Broadbent

Shot At Dawn, Langley & Oldbury Local History Society on 8th November 2023

David and Mick's talk Shot at Dawn was an excellent choice for our Remembrance Month meeting. Our members found the talk to be poignant, informative and learnt that the stories that lie behind those shot at dawn during the first world war was more nuanced than they might have expected. Hopefully we will have David and Mick back again for another thought provoking talk.

Judith Campton

Crimson Fields, Marston Green 50+ on 23rd October 2023

Having read the reviews on Crimson Fields we eagerly awaited David & Mick's talk , and we weren't disappointed. The fact that you couldn't hear a pin drop  spoke volumes. It was so professionally delivered and our  members were engrossed. The amount of information and individual stories were amazing and it was obvious that they were passionate about the subject.
A big thank you for a wonderful evening from all our members, looking forward to another talk next year.

Chris Graddon

Forgotten Army, Burntwood FHG on 9th October 2023

David and Mick paid their fourth visit to Burntwood Family History Group last night. That comment in itself shows what brilliant speakers they are. On this occasion, they presented their talk on "The Forgotten Army", a harrowing description of the war in the far east. They handled this topic with sensitivity and respect, above all telling the true story of the cruelty and harsh reality that the British soldiers and civilians went through. Interlaced with anecdotes of a more personal nature, their presentation gave us a fascinating insight into that dark period in British history.  Their use of a wide range of media really added to the poignancy of the evening, especially so given the harrowing nature of the content. It was a very special evening and our members were universal in their praise for the talk. Little wonder that we have already booked them for a return in 2024.

Bill Jones

The Falklands Conflict - Glenfield U3A on 28th September 2023

Mick and  David came to our U3A to present a talk on the Falklands Conflict. Their presentation was very professional and beautifully illustrated as well as being very factual.

I did pay homage to the cost in British and Argentinian loss of life and was a reminder of the loss of life and the scope of the conflict.

Val Westlake

Crimson Fields -School Farm TWG on 12th July 2023

As part of series of talks arranged for the School Farm Town's Women's Guild by visitors throughout the year I invited David and Mick to deliver their Great War - Crimson Fields Talk. This had the complete attention of our members for over an hour. It brought the various aspects of the war to life with illuminating details of individuals adding to the historical events mentioned. Enjoyed by all !

Ann Lettis

Crimson Fields - Unlocking Warwick on 15th June 2023

The June edition of our monthly social tea called ‘In The Ballroom’ featured an interesting presentation by David Bardell and Mick Byrne, who have become experts in the conditions facing the troops that went to the Western Front in WW1. 
Their talk was entitled, ‘Crimson Fields’, and explained the roles of the medical teams who risked their lives in the field hospitals, and pioneered new treatments. 
And David and Mick explained that the war accelerated many medical advances.
The talk was well received by the audience and we are looking to invite them back for another talk next year.

Phil Glover

Crimson Fields - Market Drayton U3A on 18th May 2023

David and Mick brought to life the horrors and cost in human suffering of the Great War. They showed the need and development of effective nursing. The dedication, sacrifice and heroism of these early nurses was a moving and emotional account. The medical advances in wound dressing, drugs and many surgical techniques was an inspiring achievement that saved innumerable thousands of lives.

Barbara Chambers

Crimson Fields - RAFA, Moseley Branch on 5th April 2023

I first met David Bardell and Mick Byrne last year when they came and gave a talk on the Forgotten Army, which went down very well, because one of our members husband served in Burma during  World War Two.
They came back this April and the talk was "Crimson Fields", all about the Nurses and Surgeons that served on the front line in the Great War. They both have such a  knowledge of the subject.
They are both funny, entertaining and knowledgeable, a great afternoon was had by all. All our members have asked if they will come back and give a talk on the The Royal Family, which is a new talk.

Sue Horsfall

A Right Royal Couple - Albric WI on 14th March 2023

Your talk was well planned, well presented and held members attention, especially a couple of the older ladies.  It was great that you brought along all your own equipment, which meant that everyone could hear and see you clearly.  I personally thought the ties were fabulous.

Roger Hartley

Shot At Dawn - Lichfield 41 Club on 9th November 2022

B/B History Revisited returned to Lichfield 41 Club in November to present "Shot at Dawn", following their well-received Falklands War presentation in April. Both events were well presented, illustrated and audible, thanks to the use of their own dedicated equipment. Our members were very pleased to be both educated and entertained by David and Mick and wish me to pass on our sincere thanks.

Di Smith

Crimson Fields - CAMEO Ladies on 7th November 2022

Just to say a big thank you for the very moving talk Crimson Fields, it was very informative and really well presented. I think it should be given to schools so our young people can learn what sacrifices were made for us all.
We will be booking another talk in the future

Sue Nation

Crimson Fields - Banners Gate Townswomen's Guild on 21st July 2022

David and Mick came to Banners Gate T.G. to present a talk named “Crimson Fields”. They were very well prepared with up to date use of technology. Members were able to see and hear everything clearly.

You think you know a lot about the first world war.  Think again!!! Book this talk for your members and you will not be disappointed.

Bob Ireland

Falklands Conflict - Solihull Widney U3A on 17th June 2022

Today’s talk was a double act with a difference.  In a week which saw the 40th Anniversary of the conflict in the South Atlantic, our two speakers displayed their extensive research in a presentation which intertwined the facts regarding the logistics of the campaign and personal  stories of individuals who had significant roles in the events and their aftermath. Although many of the audience will have known some of the facts, names and events of 1982 the extra background details and particularly the personal stories in key individuals such as Simon Weston – individuals whom they have met – brought a personal insight into the suffering of those involved on both sides of the conflict.

This was one of those talks which at seventy five minutes did not have the audience fidgeting in their chairs wanting to get off for refreshments.  We were enthralled by the content.

Beverley Peet

Crimson Fields - Olton & District U3A on 14th June 2022

Your talk was really interesting and informative with humour to offset the more sombre aspects. You were both very professional, punctual and your love of the subject was clearly demonstrated. You had an audience of over 70 people and kept their attention throughout the hour long talk which was supplemented with a slideshow and audio including music and poetry.

Judy Nestor

Shot at Dawn - Tamworth U3A on 19th May 2022

David and Mick came to give their talk ‘Shot at Dawn’ for Tamworth u3a yesterday at the Assembly Rooms.  Although the topic is very moving there was appropriate humour in the way they delivered it.  The talk is well illustrated with a power point presentation and the information is shared between them.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this talk, and found it very thought provoking because it raised questions that will probably never be answered after all these years.

We will certainly consider asking David and Mick back at some time in the future to present one of the other topics they specialise in.

Anne Tolley

Shot at Dawn - OWLs, Walsall on 11th November 2021

After many cancellations due to Covid we finally had the privilege of meeting David and Mick and hear their presentation, 'Shot at Dawn’. Everyone was fully captivated hearing all the facts and details shared and the obvious extensive research that had taken place. Thank you for starting the session with the Act of Remembrance which was thoroughly appreciated by all those present as it was the 11th November and led us beautifully into a very thought provoking session. We look forward to welcoming you back again next year to hear more of your talks.

Chris Graddon

Crimson Fields - Burntwood Family History Group on 8th November 2021

Mick Byrne and David Bardell paid a second visit to Burntwood Family History Group when they presented their talk “The Crimson Fields” to our November meeting. As with their previous talk “Shot at Dawn”, Mick and David showed how thoroughly they had researched the stories and the, often unsung, heroes they wove together in their excellent presentation. Their use of a wide range of media really added to the poignancy of the evening, especially so given the harrowing nature of the content. It was a very special evening and our members were universal in their praise for the talk. Little wonder that we have already booked them for a return in 2022.

Jan Mayhew

Warriors All - Hadley Five-O on 1st November 2021

‘Mick and David were very professional from the booking stage and  throughout the presentation.  They arrived with all the equipment needed and with plenty of time to set up .  The presentation they delivered was `Warriors All`  It  had been well researched and was very informative with some nice personal touches.  It kept the members attention and nobody got their knitting out. Always a good sign at our club that they were enjoying the morning.

Caroline Stubbs

Shot At Dawn – Sutton Coldfield Civic Society on 10th October 2019.

I think you could tell that we all enjoyed your presentation on 10th October. It was clear that both you and Mick have done some extensive research and it’s so good to share that knowledge. I will certainly contact you for next year so that we can hear the next chapter.

A Right Royal Couple

2022 saw our late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee; 70 years on the throne before her death on 8 September 2022 following her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, having died 2 years earlier on 9 April 2021.


We have seen lots of footage of them both over the last 2 years in the media, but our talk looks at lesser known facts about them with humorous stories that we have witnessed at different events.


We are all aware of their unstinting devotion to duty and service but our talk will add a different dimension to what you already know about this amazing couple.

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The Falklands Conflict

2022 sees the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict. Our story looks at the reasons why Argentina chose to invade the Falklands in 1982 and all the political wrangling behind the scenes to avert the conflict.

The Falklands War is the last conflict since WW2 to see all the branches of our Armed Forces in action together.

We chart the British Task Force, their victories and losses, the incredible acts of valour by our service personnel including two Victoria Cross recipients.

Concluding with the eventual recovery of the Falklands Islands.

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The Great War - Shot at Dawn

Between 1914 and 1920, more than 3,000 British soldiers were sentenced to death by courts martial for desertion, cowardice, striking an officer, disobedience, falling asleep on duty or casting away arms.

However, only 346 were actually executed with 37 of these having committed capital crimes such as murder. The remaining 309 become the centrepiece of our Talk.

We explain the Background to how these events unfolded; we pick out a handful of examples and tell their stories; we explain how they were finally pardoned after 90 years of disgrace to their families.

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The Great War - Crimson Fields

This is the story of Nurses and Surgeons who served on the front line in the Great War 1914-1918.

We tell the compelling stories of a number of these Heroines and Heroes, such as Edith Cavell, Nellie Spindler, Noel Chavasse and John McCrae.

We talk about QAIMNS, VAD and FANY nurses.

Also, the treatments and procedures developed by these extraordinary individuals, and their pioneering influence on today’s medical profession.

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The Great War - The Unknown Warrior

This talk tells the story of Remembrance and Comradeship in the Great War.

We start with the Christmas Truce of 1914 through to friendships made at Toc H from 1915.

The amazing story of how the poppy became a symbol of Remembrance; the creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC); and we recount the true story of the only woman buried at Lijssenthoek Cemetery along with 10,000 men.

We look at The Menin Gate, Tyne Cot and Thiepval for those with no known grave.

And finish with the moving story of The Unknown Warrior.

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Warriors All

Acts of valour by men and animals since The Great War.

This talk tells the stories of both Men and Animals, their devotion to duty, amazing stories of bravery and selflessness.

Both Men and Animals showed they were fearless, relentless, diligent and resolute.

We will tell stories of VC recipients spanning from WW1 to the present day and about Animals awarded the Dickin Medal over the same time period.

The Victoria Cross has only been awarded 1,358 times since its inception in 1856.

The Dickin Medal, regarded as the VC for Animals, has been awarded 72 times since its creation in 1943.

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VE Day

Although VE Day was the 8 May 1945, the road to VE Day started on 1st September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland.

Our talk will remember some of the key events during WW2, through some of the highs and lows, victories and losses.

We will be remembering all the celebrations held up and down the country in the form of street parties which would always inevitably include that great British tradition of tea drinking. We have been a nation of tea drinkers since the reign of Queen Victoria in the 19th century - a good cuppa will always give you a lift.

So, as part of the Talk we will add some interesting tea facts.

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The Forgotten Army

This is the story of the 14th Army commanded by General Bill Slim in World War 2 in Burma, who eventually defeated the Japanese Imperial Army on the 15 August 1945; now referred to as VJ Day.

We tell stories of the journey to VJ Day, from the fall of Singapore in February 1942 and the construction of the Burma and Sumatra railways, to the creation of the Chindits, and the dropping of the Atomic Bombs leading to the surrender of the Japanese Imperial Army.

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We would love to hear from you.

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Equipment:

Our talks last between 45 minutes and one hour. We bring our own equipment – laptop, projector, screen, speaker, voice amplifier.

Fee:

We charge £80 plus travel expenses at 45p per mile.  We operate in and around the areas of West Midlands, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, East Midlands, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and anywhere else within 100 miles of home.

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