The siege of Ladysmith during the Anglo-Boer war is the stuff of legends. The Boers had surrounded General Sir George White and his troops since the start of November 1899 but had been generally inactive and unwilling to launch a frontal assault on the town. That changed on the 6th January 1900 when the biggest … Continue reading Battlefield tour: The battle for the Platrand (Caesar’s camp and Wagon Hill)
The Commonwealth war graves section of Harare (Pioneer) cemetery is a small oasis of well-maintained calm inside a huge, semi-derelict civilian graveyard close to the slum of Mbare. I found it more by accident than design when in Zimbabwe for the recent elections. According to the CWGC website, the cemetery contains 259 identified casualties, 224 … Continue reading Photos: Pioneer Cemetery, Harare
In 2005 I visited Lucknow, the capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It's a fascinating city with a rich history, especially for those of us with a passion for British military history. During the Indian Mutiny (aka the first war of Independence) of 1857/58, The battle for the city, particularly the siege of … Continue reading In the footsteps of the Raj: The siege of Lucknow
The third battle of Ypres or the battle of Passchendaele as it is commonly known has become a defining moment of the first world war – it is remembered for its horror, the mud and the senseless slaughter of men. But What happened and was it actually a terrible failure? Third Ypres was fought in … Continue reading Five minute history: the battle of Passchendaele
The opening engagement of the Anglo-Boer war was fought in this small town in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. It was a small but important battle that showed the British army how dangerous it was to scorn their enemy. Join me for a walk up Talana hill as I get some exercise and move in … Continue reading A short walk up Talana Hill: First battle of the Anglo-Boer war
After the British were defeated at the battle of Isandlwana a few hundred survivors made a dash for the Buffalo River in an attempt to escape from the victorious Zulus. Take a walk with me as we explore that story and examine the terrain of the battlefield.
The Indian mutiny: The assault at the Kashmir Gate, Delhi. In this video, I take a walk around Delhi's Kashmir gate, scene of heavy fighting during the Indian rebellion of 1857. Two VC's were won on this very spot.
In 2014 I was lucky enough to be in Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. I was able to spend time with a number of veterans including Tony Colgan of the 9th Durham Light Infantry. Tony was travelling with his Grandson and it was wonderful to share this time with them. As part of … Continue reading Storming the beaches: Covering the 70th anniversary of D-Day
In April 2015 I was lucky enough to attend the centenary commemorations of the Allied landings at Gallipoli. One of the sites well worth a visit is "W Beach" and the nearby Lancashire Landing cemetery. While there I made the short film below: W beach was known to the Turks as Tekke Bay. It was … Continue reading Video: A walk on W Beach, Gallipoli
I am fascinated by the Anglo-Zulu war but have always been confused about the reasons for it and why Britain invaded. In this short "5 minute history" I try to give an explanation as to why the war happened.