What’s On

The Bradford WW1 Group meets on the 4th Wednesday morning of each month, from 10.00am to 12 noon.. We are a convivial group and you will be made very welcome indeed.  Our programme of speakers covers a wide variety of topics and, twice a year, we hold ‘Bring and Tell’ sessions where a range of interesting and often unexpected artefacts are discussed!

2018 Programme

24 January    Tricia and John Restorick: The Balkan Story

The assassination of the Archduke in Sarajevo is often regarded as the incident which ignited WW1, but what happened in that troubled corner of Europe in the following years? Travels in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Norther Greece have helped fill out the rather slim history books and form some understanding of the politics of the Salonika Campagn

28 February    Nick Hooper: The Spring Offensive

The 1918 Spring offensive was also known as the Ludendorff Offensive and encapsulated four campaigns named Michael, Georgette, Gneisenau and Blucher-Yorc. Confused? Nick Hooper will guide us through this last gap push which so nearly succeeded.

28 March   Frank Finlay: Albert Wilhelm Schuddekopf           

Schuddekopf became Chair of the German Department in Leeds in 1897 and took British citizenship in 1912. He played a key role in te teaching of languages in this country when the university, under the leadership of Sir Michael Sadler, was developing into a multi disciplinary institution and attracting intellectuals from all over Europe. The war changed things for him.

25 April   Tim Lynch: Unknown Soldiers: West Riding conscripts in 1918     

Tim’s talk focuses on a group of local lads who wee called up in late 1917 and went to France together. Looking at this one group in detail challenges many of the enduring myths of the WW1 conscript and the army that won the war.

23 May   Fraser Skirrow: Bradford Territorials at Bullecourt                   

Fraser has given some memorable talks to the WW1 Group and now returns to concentrate on the 2/6th West Yorks as they attacked Bullecourt on 3 May 1917. Frasers research has been helped by WW1 Group members but his expert eye and lively presentation will bring new insight to the village and battle in which over 100 men of the 2/6th Bn were to die.

27 June:   Dave O’ Mara: ‘La compagnie Americaine’ and other foreigners in the service of France                               

Even though America did not officially enter the war until April 1917, from the very beginning many young men decided to volunteer to serve alongside French troops. Were they hoping to repay the debt to Lafayette and Rochambeau who helped the 13 colonies win the American Revolution or, as the poet Alan Seeger suggested, did it provide ”that rare privilege of dying well”. Seeger died on 4 July 1916 when serving with the French Foreign Legion.

25 July   Peter Palmer: Amiens and the last 100 days                                       

The opening of the Battle of Amiens on 8 Aug 1918 marked the start of what has become known as the Last 100. Days. In a series of victories the Allies succeeding in pushing the Germans beyond the Hindenburg Line, ending with the signing of the Armistice on 11 Nov.

22 August   Members’ Morning:  Bring and Tell                                                                                

26 September   TBC   

24 October         Paul Mitchell: ‘C  S Jagger – A Soldiers Art’    

Charles Sargeant Jagger served in Gallipoli and France. In his youth he completed an apprenticeship and studied sculpture. After the war his life’s work combined all these experiences

28 November   Graham Taylor: Farnhill Volunteers in WW1

When WW1 conscription was introduced in 1916, Farnhill Parish Council drew up a list on a piece of paper. It named 68 men from the village who were already serving with the armed forces. With funds from the HLF the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers Project has researched the lived and social context of these men before, during, and more unusually, after the war

12 December     Members’ Morning:  Festive ‘Bring and Tell’                                                         


The fourth Wednesday morning of each month is the time for meetings of the World War 1 Group. We begin with coffee and biscuits at 10.00 and the convivial, welcoming atmosphere continues into the business agenda at 10.30 and lively discussion following a visiting speaker. The meeting ends at 12 noon.

Whilst members have particular enthusiasm for the role which Bradford and its citizens played, they also share an interest in all aspects of the Great War. This is reflected in the extremely wide range of topics covered by our programme of speakers. Our Heritage Lottery award provided us with a digital projector, speakers, screen and several laptops for research.

In December 2016 the WW1 Group received the papers, photograph albums and research notes of local researcher PD Lodge. This valuable archive can be made available for study. We also have a display cabinet of donated artefacts.

The Exhibition

The exhibition display panels researched and written by members of the WW1 group were produced by Inchpunch Design and form part of our Heritage Lottery Project.

They have been exhibited twice in the banqueting suite of Bradford City Hall at the invitation of the Lord Mayor’s office; at Bradford Central Library during the presentation about the war poet Humbert Wolfe; at events held in the meeting rooms of the Mechanics Institute and as a back-drop to presentations given by group members in other locations, including the Ilkley Literature Festival in October 2014, at the Bradford Club on 25 February 2015 and on Sam Meekosha Day at the Local Studies Library on 19 November 2015.


Threads of War Exhibition

Throughout July 2016 the WW1 Group staged an exhibition in the Mechanics’ Institute Library entitled ‘Threads of War’. Opened by the Lord Mayor on Saturday 2 July, the display comprised creative textiles in a range of styles reflecting aspects of the Great War. The exhibition was curated by Annie Parkinson of the East Riding Commemorative Quilts Group.


At the invitation of Bradford Cathedral the exhibition will be on display in the Cathedral for the whole of July 2016 and will form the backdrop for the Civic Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme to be held at the Cathedral on Saturday 9th July 2016 at 3pm.