Friday 27 June 2014

100 years on

The 28 June 2014 is the 100 year anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the start of events that led to the outbreak of the first work war. However it was 3 weeks before Austria Hungary issued their ultimatum to Serbia giving them just 2 days to respond before they declared war on Serbia on the 28 July 1914.

Over the next few weeks and months you should see some changes to the BradfordWW1 website. I will be updating and reorganising the pages and adding more information. One of the first changes is the timeline of headlines from the Bradford Weekly Telegraph. The headlines will be updated each week during the course of the centenary the first starting the week ending the 28 June.

Bradford is holding it’s ArmedForces Day in City Park on the 28 June and I will be there floating between the Peace Museum’s stall and Bradford YMCA’s Tea Hut handing out leaflets and chatting to people about my book "Great War Britain: Bradford" now available to pre-order on Amazon. Let’s hope the weather holds off as I need to recover from my lingering cold for next week. As part of Children’s Book Week I will be giving interactive talks at Bradford City Library to 60 school children each day on ‘Children in WW1’.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

New BradfordWW1 talks

I have just updated my list of available talks on WW1

There are five new talks from an overview of Bradford’s war efforts to munitions factories and life for children during the war. There are also more interactive talks designed for school children.

My talks are designed to be both informative and engaging and I have had very good feedback from those given so far including

“I attended the talk ‘Musical Beds’  yesterday.   I found it very informative and interesting.  It was surprising where hospitals were sited across the City and surrounding areas... If the talk is repeated I would recommend anyone to go”

Kathryn Hughes' talk on St Luke’s [hospital] during World War 1 was absolutely fascinating and riveting!! But then I love local history. Her talk was liberally illustrated with photos, and a map which she updated with blobs denoting the [hospitals] changing role as the war progressed.”

If you would like to book me for a talk please email 

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Bradford’s War Horses

I went to watch War Horse at Bradford's Alhambra Theatre last night. The production as expected was amazing but I thought I would share some thoughts on how the story related to the purchasing of horses in Bradford at the outbreak of war.

The 2nd West Riding Royal Field Artillery (Territorials) were one of the battalions based in Bradford just off Manningham Lane. At the outbreak of war they needed lots of heavy draught horses to pull the guns and carts as well as horses for officers. Some farmers had taken grants from the War Office of between 10s and £4 per annum depending on the quality of the horse and in return they guaranteed to provide these horses if needed by the Government. Bradford had 200 guaranteed horses.

The Army Act (section 115) also stated that if the King declares an emergency the military can issue a “Requisition of Emergencyrequiring local “Justices of the Peace to issue warrants for the provision, for the purposes mentioned in the Requisition, of carriages, animals, vessels, and aircraft, as prescribed by the said Act”.

The battalion was ordered to mobilise 4th Aug 1914 at 7.15pm.On the 4th day of mobilisation 137 Heavy draught horses and 17 Officers chargers were brought in by the battalions Horse Purchasing Officer and 54 by a civilian purchaser. However, this was only a third of the amount of horses that were needed by the 13 August, the ninth day of mobilisation.

The story of how these horses were gathered and what happened to them prior to their departure from Bradford is revealed in my book Great War Britain: Bradford available in November or I am available to give talks on this and other subjects locally.

Monday 9 June 2014

Great War Britain: Bradford

Sorry for the delay in posting, my book Great War Britain: Bradford is now written and is with the publisher and due to be out in the shops in November but you can pre-order it via Amazon.

Hopefully I will now have more time to overhaul the website and upload more information. In the mean time Bradford Library are hosting a Great War Open Day on Saturday 14 June 2014 at which I will be talking about what it was like for children in WW1.