Victims of the Somme – Event Report

The wreath laid in memory of the Jeffries Brothers who died at The Somme in 1916
Today at noon a commemoration was held for the soldiers from The Dings who died at the Somme in World War 1. (See the event listing.) In particular we remembered the Jeffries brothers: Arthur who was killed in action at Geuedecourt on September 16th 1916 and Alfred who was shot at dawn for desertion on November 1st 1916. After a few words - from among others David Jeffries the Great Nephew of the Jeffries brothers, Geoff Woolfe (author of The Bristol Deserter) and Professor Lois Bibbings from […]

National Memorial Arboretum, 29 Oct 2016

Alfred Jefferies' stake in the Shot at Dawn Memorial within the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Three more of the British and Commonwealth soldiers executed during the First World War were remembered on Saturday at the Shot at Dawn Memorial within the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire with a re-dedication service. The Memorial, which was unveiled in 2001, commemorates men shot for disciplinary offences in recognition that the quality of justice they received was likely to be very poor, with no legal representation and a short trial, and that many were suffering from shell-shock, […]

Victims of the Somme

A commemoration and wreath-laying

WWI Autumn 2016 Poster
Dings Park, Oxford St, Bristol BS2 0QU. A commemoration and wreath-laying to remember Arthur and Alfred Jefferies, both of whom were born in St Philips and lived in the Dings. Both fell as victims of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Arthur was killed in action in Geuedecourt on September 16th 1916. Alfred was shot at dawn for desertion on November 1st 1916.   A leaflet will be handed out at the event : Among the hundreds of thousands of men killed on both sides during the battle of The […]

Slaughter No Remedy

WWI Autumn 2016 Poster
The premier of Slaughter No Remedy a short film that studies the life of Walter Ayles a leading member of the Independent Labour Party in Bristol who was jailed in 1916 for his refusal to fight in World War One. This is followed by Watford’s Quiet Heroes a documentary telling the dramatic and largely forgotten stories of WW1 war resisters. Finally, The Unseen March exposes the contemporary policies that are increasing military involvement in schools across Britain. From the expansion of cadet […]

Sylvia Pankhurst, The Dreadnought and the ‘Great War’

***Cancelled*** due to illness. It will be rescheduled for the New Year.

WWI Autumn 2016 Poster
During the First World War Sylvia Pankhurst's newspaper, The Dreadnought was the most consistently anti-war publication. It not only opposed the global conflict but condemned the crushing of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, supported the 1917 Russian Revolution and campaigned for a revolution in Britain. Professor Newsinger is the author of numerous books including The Blood Never Dried: A People's History of the British Empire (2006), Fighting Back: The American Working Class in the 1930s […]

Bristol – Opposition to the First World War

WWI Autumn 2016 Poster
'Canting humbugs' was the way some in Bristol characterised opponents of the 'Great War'. But it is now clear that men like local councillor Walter Ayles, prepared to go to prison for their beliefs, had considerable local support. A talk with video extracts. Venue: Kingfisher Cafe, 99 Burley Grove Fishponds BS16 2LE.  

Deserters, Conchies and Mutineers

WWI Autumn 2016 Poster
Ringleaders and Reds in Khaki - British Army mutinies during the First World War British Military historians and assorted flag-wavers celebrate the enthusiastic rush to the colours; the ensuing blood sacrifice of British Tommies, White Dominion troops and (belatedly) colonial formations and even military labourers. The stereotype of soldiers dutifully marching to their deaths was always a conservative mirage but only a handful of books have drawn attention to the hundreds of thousands of […]

Smoke, Gas, Strikes, Metal and Slums

An historical walk

WWI Autumn 2016 Poster
Meet at Bristol Temple Meads station forecourt. Well over 50 people turned up when we put on this walk in July. It was so popular we’re doing it again. So if you enjoyed it so much last time you want to do it again, or you’ve been kicking yourself because you missed it, come along on 2nd October. The walk takes about two hours. It’s mainly on the flat with one short incline. It will finish at Hydra Bookshop in Old Market where tea & coffee will be available as well as several books/pamphlets […]

Smoke: Gas: Strikes: Metal: Slums

A historical walk to honour Alfred Jefferies who was shot for desertion in France On 1st November 1916

A 2 hour walk around St Philips and the Dings. Alfred Jefferies lived in St Philips before 1914, he was shot for desertion in France On 1st November 1916. We will walk around the area, highlighting forgotten industry, back streets, schools, and social history. The years leading up to 1914 saw a wave of strike action across Britain; at the same time there were fears of war with Germany whipped up by the press and in popular culture. Some like Bristol’s Trade Union Leader Ernest Bevin argued that […]

Battle Of The Somme

At the Watershed, 1 Canons Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX. 1 July 1916 was the first day of the battle of the Somme. That day saw the highest British casualties of any day in World War 1. The battle continued for four months. Over a million men on both sides were killed or wounded. The British and French armies gained six miles of German territory. In August 1916 the government released the film 'Battle Of The Somme'. Sequences in the film were faked and the government specified what music […]