The Start of the First World War

World War 1 began on 28 July 1914 precisely one month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of Austria Hungary. Austria-Hungary considered this a declaration of war, kick starting one of the most devastating conflicts in human history. Leading countries such as Germany and Italy as well as Britain, France and Russia joined in the war effort … Read More

16 July 1917 – The Third Battle of Ypres begins

From July to November 1917 the British began to fight for control of the ridges South and East of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders. Passchendaele, as it was referred to, was the last ridge East of Ypres, five miles from a railway junction at Roulers which was vital to the supply system of the German 4th Army. … Read More

The Attack on the Redan

On 18 June 1855, four members of the Royal Engineers, were awarded VCs during the Crimean Campaign. They were Lt Gerald Graham, Lt Howard Elphinstone, Colour Sgt Peter Leitch and Pte John Perie. During the siege of Sevastopol, the French and British command agreed that the Russian fortifications should be taken and secured. The French objective was the Malakoff Tower, … Read More

The Battle of Messines Ridge

The Battle of Messines (7–14 June 1917) was conducted by the British Second Army, commanded by General Sir Herbert Plumer, and took place on the Western Front near the village of Messines in West Flanders, Belgium. The start of the attack comprised a series of underground explosive charges beneath the German 4th Army Front Lines. The mines were detonated at … Read More

The Battle of Arras – 9 April 1917

9 April marks 100 years since the beginning of the Battle of Arras, lasting until 16 May 1917, when British troops attacked German defences near the French city of Arras on the Western Front. With large gains along the broad front between Vimy and Bullecourt made on the first day, the conflict quickly turned to stalemate, causing nearly 160,000 British … Read More

British capture Baghdad – 11 March 1917

The forgotten War in the Middle East The Fall of Baghdad occurred during the Mesopotamia Campaign, fought between the forces of the British Empire and the Ottoman Turkish Empire. This was a major turning point in the War in the Middle East, a usually forgotten theatre. Baghdad’s capture had sprung up out of a major defeat for British and Indian … Read More

The Sappers and the Tanks

Battle of Flers, September 15th 1916 100 years ago on 15 September, a new advancement in engineering was introduced to the battlefield, one that would change the way battles were fought. The tank had arrived on the Somme. As dawn broke on the morning of 15 September 1916, Captain H. W. Mortimer of the Heavy Branch of the Machine Gun … Read More

A Guide to Gillingham for new students

The students arriving in Medway for their first year will no doubt be looking to explore the surrounding area. While the campus provides basic necessities such as accommodation, food and drink, plenty more can be found in town. If you’re looking for a way to spend the day while checking out the university’s seminar rooms and lecture theatres, the Historic … Read More

Assembling the Somme Exhibition

The Battle of the Somme lasted from July 1st 1916 until November 1916 and for many, epitomised the horrors of trench warfare. This famous battle is marked as being particularly brutal, with over 600,000 casualties on the Allied side. The psychological impact can be seen from contemporary sources, such as the one by Edward Lynch: “It’s the end of the … Read More