The March talk of the season was provided by the widly acclaimed military historian and author, Dr Nick Lloyd who provided a well structured account of the Battle of Passchendaele: 100 years on based on his recent Sunday Times top 10 bestselling book “Passechendale - a New History”. The quote from Edmonds’s papers “Did we really order men to fight over such ground” was made all the more poignant as we were faced with the description of how the battle for the ridge progressed and difficulties caused by both the incessant rain and the questionable sanity of the differing orders to attack given by a succession of generals. When ground was gained; it was lost, and fought for again resulting in massive loss of life on both sides amid the mud, trenches and barbed wire of the desolate landscape that was the Western Front. We were shown that under the leadership of General Sir Herbert Plumer the change of tactics to ‘Bite and Hold’ proved extremely effective and meant that the British could at last push forward at Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde and Poelcappelle between 21st September and 10th October of 1917; for the Germans it was the most harrowing phase of fighting resulting in many thousands losing their lives. Passchendale Ridge was finally taken by the Canadian on December 6. Many Victoria Crosses were valiantly earned.

Please join us on Thursday 26 April at the Friends Meeting House in Cowl Street when Stan Brotherton will talk to us about ‘The Evesham Abbey’

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