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.

Wed 22nd Jan 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

Event Details

Wed 22nd Jan 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

Wed 26th Feb 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

Event Details

Wed 26th Feb 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

Wed 25th Mar 2020

British Volunteers and the Spanish Civil War

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Event Details

Wed 25th Mar 2020

British Volunteers and the Spanish Civil War

During the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939, despite massive establishment resistance to them going, nearly 2,500 men and women left Britain to fight for the Spanish Republic. Most were ordinary working class people, many were deeply socialist, some were even staunch Communists, but all were vehemently anti-fascist. 


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


Ray Wilkinson, Chief Executive of East Anglia Reserve Forces & Cadets Association and an Accredited Member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides, has been fascinated for many years by the activities of the British Volunteers who fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. He will talk about those volunteers, why they went to fight in someone else’s war, and their actions in February exactly 80 years ago.


In the context of what’s happening now in the Middle East this talk about a war that involved a clash of ideologies, drawing volunteers, contributors, and journalists to it from all over the world, is highly topical.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Wed 22nd Apr 2020

Reflections on the First World War

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Event Details

Wed 22nd Apr 2020

Reflections on the First World War

"War should be so engaged in that nothing but peace should appear to be aimed at." Reflections on the First World War in light of Cicero's dictum.


Allan Mallinson reflects upon Marshal Ferdinand Foch's prescient statement in 1919 that the Treaty of Versailles was “not a peace but a twenty-year armistice” despite the complete defeat of the Quadruple Alliance in 1918 after four years of hard fighting.


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


Allan Mallinson is a former soldier and author of the Matthew Hervey novels as well as the best-selling The Making of the British Army (2009), the award-winning 1914: Fight the Good Fight - Britain, the Army and the Coming of the First World War (2013) and the revisionist, polemical Too Important for the Generals: How Britain Nearly Lost the First World War (2016). In 2014, he was commissioned to write a monthly commentary on the conflict for The Times, which provided the basis of Fight to the Finish: The First World War, Month by Month (2018). Looking at the First World War month by month, he suggests, reveals the war's complexity while preserving the essential sense of time.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Wed 27th May 2020

Victory in Burma

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Event Details

Wed 27th May 2020

Victory in Burma

On 14th June 1945 the 14th Army conducted a victory parade in Rangoon having captured the city with barely a shot fired in anger. Meanwhile the final elements of the Imperial Japanese Army were in full retreat from Burma into Malaya and Siam. Starving, dressed in rags and riddled with tropical diseases, this was no longer the Japanese Army which had so resoundingly defeated the Indian and British Army three years earlier. The fall of Singapore and the terrible retreat had been the British Army's greatest defeat, yet these soldiers had been transformed into a victorious army. As the 14th Army, they were now able to defeat the most brutal of enemies in the most testing of climates and in the most difficult of terrain. This talk will consider why and how each army conducted warfare and why the Forgotten Army was transformed into a devastating fighting force.

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


Lt Col Mike Tickner writes regularly for the British Army Review, presents to the British Army, clubs and associations on the subject of the old Indian Army and leads battlefield tours to Burma, A serving officer, he has completed operational tours in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

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Wed 27th Nov 2019

Lost Roman Legions

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Event Details

Wed 27th Nov 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.


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

Wed 23rd Oct 2019

The Battle of Balaclava

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Event Details

Wed 23rd Oct 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.


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

Wed 25th Sept 2019

1973 Yom Kippur War: Political Background and Intelligence Failure

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Event Details

Wed 25th Sept 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?


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

Tues 18th Jun 2019

Agincourt: Myth and Reality

7.45pm - 9.45pm

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

Event Details

Tues 18th Jun 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

Wed 22nd May 2019

Hitler's Heralds

7.30pm - 9.30pm

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

Event Details

Wed 22nd 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

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