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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.

Mo Garbett

Shot At Dawn – Norton Canes Historical Society on 10th September 2019.

‘Shot at Dawn’ was a most interesting talk enjoyed by all the members of the Norton Canes Historical Society. Well presented, informative, emotional at times but enlightening as to the sheer numbers of killed, wounded and even our own ‘shot at dawn’ during this war. Would recommend to any society or club looking for speakers for their venues.

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.

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 - Land, Sea and Air

Land, Sea & Air tells the story of how our Army, Navy and Air Force eventually beat the Germans in WW1 after over four years of fighting.

We chart the highs and lows, victories and losses, acts of valour of these brave servicemen and women of WW1.

Including the Royal Navy victory at the battle of Jutland 1916, the Army’s battles in Gallipoli 1915, the battle of the Somme 1916, the battle of Passchendaele 1917, and the development and importance of the Tank.

How the Royal Flying Corps played an important role in WW1 and the formation of the Royal Air Force in 1918.

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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 £70 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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