Events

The views of the speakers will be their own and the Society takes no responsibility

for the views expressed or the accuracy of their presentations.

Wednesday 25th September 2019

1973 Yom Kippur War: Political Background and Intelligence Failure

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 25th September 2019

1973 Yom Kippur War: Political Background and Intelligence Failure

Despite the stunning and complete defeat of three Arab armies - Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian - in the 1967 Six Day War, how was it that Israel failed to anticipate and prepare adequately for the assault on two fronts some six years later? And how did the Israeli armed forces manage to regain control of the situation with a focus on the tank battle on the Golan Heights, known as the Valley of Tears?


Entrance for members is included in your annual subscription. For non-members, entrance is £10 (cash only) at the door. 


In addition to 35 years of military experience, Colonel (Ret'd) Tony Malkin also studied armoured warfare formally in Hamburg for two years. He has also conducted five battlefield tours addressing the Yom Kippur War.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

Wednesday 23rd October 2019

The Battle of Balaclava

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 23rd October 2019

The Battle of Balaclava

The charge of the Light Brigade, during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854, is one of the most famous military exploits during the Crimean War of 1854-55. The war was truly a Victorian epic, pitting the British and French armies, allied for the first time after many years of enmity, against the might of Russia. Just two days before the 165th anniversary, historian Bob Kershaw presents a fascinating talk based upon his recent book in which he provides step-by-step analysis of the course of the charge, the various personalities and compares the reality with Tennyson’s famous poem and the 1968 film.


Entrance for members is included in your annual subscription. For non-members, entrance is £10 (cash only) at the door.


Colonel Robert Kershaw joined the Parachute Regiment in 1973 and commanded 10 PARA. He attended the German Staff College, the Fuhrungsakedemie, and served alongside the Bundeswehr. An established historian, he has published numerous books, written many articles in the national press and featured in numerous TV documentaries. '24 Hours at Balaclava: Voices from the Battlefield' was published earlier this year.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

Wednesday 27th November 2019

Lost Roman Legions

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 27th November 2019

Lost Roman Legions

The annihilation of three Roman legions in 9AD by a coalition of German tribes led by Arminius was one of the biggest defeats in Roman history as well as one of the main events to determine the course of European history. The Germans decided to mark the event by erecting a huge statue to Arminius near Detmold in the 1870s, without a shred of evidence for the location of the actual battle. It was not until British Army warrant officer Tony Clunn armed with a metal detector discovered 100 Roman coins north of Osnabruck one weekend in 1987 that the actual site was discovered. The lecture covers the history of Xanten (the annual departure point for the Roman spring expedition east of the Rhine) as well as the route up the River Lippe, the battle itself and its consequences.


Entrance for members is included in your annual subscription. For non-members, entrance is £10 (cash only) at the door.


Chris Hewitt, a retired Army officer who lived in Germany for 13 years, is chairman of the Salisbury Xanten Twinning Association. He is also a fellow Salisbury Military History Society member.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

37 Howitzer Battery RFA: The Curragh to Le Cateau, August 1914

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 22nd January 2020

37 Howitzer Battery RFA: The Curragh to Le Cateau, August 1914

Mike Watson provides some insights into the background and experiences of some of the Gunners, including three VCs - Captain Douglas Reynolds, Drivers Job Drain and Fred Luke, who deployed from Ireland to France in August 1914 - as relayed to him by some of those 37 Battery veterans, including Fred Luke, whom he met at Le Cateau 50 years later in August 1964. There was an urgent need to prevent the Retreat from Mons becoming a rout by checking the momentum of the following 1st German Army on the Cambrai/Le Cateau ridge.  So that is why 5th Division, including 37 Battery of 2nd British Corps fought their renowned rear-guard action near Le Cateau on Wednesday 26 August 1914. Those Gunner veterans stated that they were ‘The Cheese in the Le Cateau Mouse-trap!’ and they fought hard much to the admiration of their supported infantry.


Entrance for members is included in your annual subscription. For non-members, entrance is £10 (cash only) at the door.


Lt Col Mike Watson is a former BAOR Cold War Field Gunner and technical staff officer who saw active service in Aden, Dhofar and Northern Ireland.  Recently, he was awarded the 2017 Alfred Burne Memorial Medal for his book ‘A Concise History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery’. He is also a founding member of the Salisbury Military History Society.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

Wednesday 26th February 2020

Could the British have won the American War of Independence?

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 26th February 2020

Could the British have won the American War of Independence?

Opposition to London’s insensitive colonial policies on taxation and governance was provoked into outright rebellion when British soldiers attempted to disarm Massachusetts patriots in April 1775. British forces enjoyed initial tactical successes around Boston, but these were not enough strategically to prevent the city’s encirclement by the newly-formed Continental Army under George Washington and seaborne evacuation followed in the spring of 1776. For the next 18 months the revolt hung in the balance with substantial British reinforcements taking Philadelphia and New York. But if London’s plan for a two-pronged attack from Canada and New York had not ended in failure at Saratoga, would the Continental Army have survived, and would the French have got involved at all?


Entrance for members is included in your annual subscription. For non-members, entrance is £10 (cash only) at the door.


Jeremy Black MBE is a British historian and a professor of history at the University of Exeter. He is a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of America and the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He is the author of over 100 books, principally but not exclusively on 18th Century British politics and international relations, and has been described as "the most prolific historical scholar of our age”.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

More Events

Previous Events

Tuesday 18th June 2019

Agincourt: Myth and Reality

7.45pm - 9.45pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Tuesday 18th June 2019

Agincourt: Myth and Reality

Over recent years there has been new work on the battle of Agincourt on both sides of the Channel. We can now be much more certain about numbers in the armies but there remain important questions to be asked on what happened at the battle and why the French were so emphatically defeated. Agincourt has generated more myths than perhaps any other battle. In this talk Anne Curry will explore both these myths and the reality in so far as it can be reconstructed.


Anne Curry is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Southampton and author of several books and articles on the battle of Agincourt and late medieval warfare and armies in general.

7.45pm - 9.45pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Hitler's Heralds

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 22 May 2019

Hitler's Heralds

In this talk, Nigel Jones, author of "Hitler's  Heralds" tells the often overlooked story of the men whose campaigns drove Germany's history from the Kaiser 's abdication in 1918 to Hitler's 1923 Beerhall putsch 


One hundred years ago in the wake of the Great War, defeated Germany was in chaos . Convulsed by strikes, mutinies and open revolution, its embattled government needed a new military force to put down revolts and restore order. The result was the Freikorps. A mix of battle hardened veterans, eager students and mystic nationalists, these volunteered crushed revolts across Germany with bloody savagery. But when their task was done, dissolving the Freikorps proved easier said than done. Civil War became murderous terror as the embittered warriors morphed into the rising Nazi movement.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

Wednesday 24th April 2019

Rorke's Drift, 1879

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 24th April 2019

Rorke's Drift, 1879

In January 1879, in Natal, South Africa at Rorke’s Drift a company of Welsh soldiers held several thousand Zulus at bay around a tiny Mission Station. The battle took place at the same time as events in Isandlwana where the Zulu army crushed Lord Chelmsford’s force. For many years, Isandlwana was judged one of Britain’s most serious colonial defeats. Honour was partly salvaged at by the gallantry of the small garrison at Rorke’s Drift. Out of a force barely more than a hundred strong, 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded


With experienced military historian and guide Colonel Christopher Newbould, a veteran leader of many a tour to South Africa.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

Wednesday 27th March 2019

Russia, 1812

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 27th March 2019

Russia, 1812

The story of Napoleon’s catastrophic campaign in Russia during the summer and winter of 1812. Alan Rooney, managing director of leading historical and battlefield tour operator The Cultural Experience, presents an illustrated talk based upon his own research and extensive travel within Russia and Belarus. 

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

Wednesday 27th February 2019

Landing on the Edge of Eternity: 24 hours at Omaha Beach

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP

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Wednesday 27th February 2019

Landing on the Edge of Eternity: 24 hours at Omaha Beach

Based upon his recently published and high acclaimed book, renowned military historian Colonel Bob Kershaw, formerly of the Parachute regiment, recounts the near catastrophic American landings at Omaha beach on D-Day June 6th 1944.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

St John's Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury, SP2 9NP