War Memorial at Esher, Surrey

War Memorial at Esher

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The war memorial at Esher in Surrey, stands on the Green near to Christ Church, a Victorian Gothic building whose tall spire dominates the surroundings. It takes the form of a simple stone cross, mounted on an octagonal tapering column. This stands on an octagonal plinth, which bears the names and inscriptions of the local […]

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The Wheatsheaf on the Green, Esher

A treat at… The Wheatsheaf on the Green

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During our visit to Esher, we decided to stop for lunch at the Wheatsheaf on the Green. Overlooking the green, on which the war memorial stands, this was a surprisingly quiet spot to enjoy lunch, away from the bustle of the High Street. We were lucky with the weather and it was warm enough to […]

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R C Sherriff

Sherriff’s War

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This account of R C Sherriff’s activities in the First World War, is based upon the numerous letters which he sent to his mother during his training and service on the Western Front, as well as official military records. For reasons of censorship, once Sherriff had embarked for France, he gave no details as to […]

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General Joseph Joffre

General Joseph Joffre (1852-1931)

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Joffre took part in the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), but then spent a great deal of his career overseas in the French Colonies, serving as an engineer. Upon his return to France, he was made Commander in Chief in 1911, despite a total lack of experience for this role. Probably due […]

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Sir John French, 1st Earl of Ypres

Sir John French (1852-1925)

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Although his military career began in the Navy, French switched to the cavalry in 1870, after which he saw service in Ireland, India and Egypt before taking command of the 1st Cavalry Brigade, stationed at Aldershot. Following the Boer War French’s rise through the ranks continued until he was made a Field Marshal. In 1914 […]

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Field Marshal The Earl Kitchener

Field Marshal The Earl Kitchener (1850-1916)

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Horatio Herbert Kitchener was born into a military family and was, naturally, commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1871. He saw service in the Sudan, the Boer War, India and Egypt before the beginning of the Great War. By pure chance, Kitchener was in Britain on leave when the war broke out and Prime Minister […]

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4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 22nd August, 1914

From First Shots to Stalemate

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In France, the Commander in Chief of the French army, General Joseph Joffre, had adopted Plan XVII, which revolved around the recapture of the territories of Alsace and Lorraine. The bulk of the French army would, therefore, be stationed in that region, leaving only a small force in the north. Joffre erroneously believed that Germany […]

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British volunteers for "Kitchener's Army" waiting for their pay in the churchyard of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, August 1914.

War – At Last!

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There was a general feeling of relief when war eventually broke out. There had been tension and certainty of conflict for so long, that many people now felt released from this and looked forward to the anticipated ‘adventure’ of war. Most assumed that this would be a short conflict and that it would definitely be […]

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The Schlieffen Plan

The Final Straw

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Germany’s plan to quickly win the war in the West, before turning her full attention to the Eastern Front, known as the Schlieffen Plan, essentially involved a speedy attack through neutral Belgium and into Northern France. It was then anticipated that the German army would encircle Paris and turn back on itself, trapping the French […]

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Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie

Detonation

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On 28th June 1914, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie were assassinated during a state visit to Sarajevo. Their murderer, Gavrilo Princip, although born in the Empire of Austria-Hungary, was also a Serb. Austria-Hungary, therefore, used the assassination as an excuse to issue the Serbian government with a […]

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