Archive | Behind the Stories

A daring rescue at sea

In the article I wrote concerning the grave of Surgeon-Lieutenant Frank Pearce Pocock, DSO, MC and Bar, I mentioned Lieutenant Commander George Nicholson Bradford, VC. He featured briefly in “Arras North” by virtue of the fact that one of his brothers, 2nd Lieutenant James Barker Bradford, MC, happens to be buried in Duisans British Cemetery. […]

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The cavalry question at Arras

During the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line our cavalry performed a useful role in operations against the enemy’s rearguard. It  successfully outflanked the village of Roisel, even though many of the garrison there were able to slip away. Elsewhere, there were similar small triumphs. At Equancourt, for example, the Fort Garry Horse showed flexibility, […]

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Avesnes-le-Comte Communal Cemetery Extension

From time to time I’ve written pieces for the website highlighting some of the CWGC cemeteries that lay just beyond the geographical scope of my books on Arras. One of those is the extension to the communal cemetery at Avesnes-le-Comte. This cemetery does have links to the fighting around Arras, not just during the Great […]

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“A solitary grave in a grassy valley”

Henry Williamson, best known for his work, “Tarka the Otter”, was a controversial figure. Although his naive leanings towards Hitler and National Socialism turned many away from him, his reputation as an author seems to have endured. Another of Williamson’s works, ” The Wet Flanders Plain”, first published in revised format in 1929, then thankfully re-printed […]

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Beyond Monchy-le-Preux

During a recent group visit to the Arras battlefield we stayed at Boiry- Notre-Dame. One morning, before breakfast, I decided to take myself off on foot through the village heading west along a track (a continuation of the Route d’ Arras) towards Monchy-le-Preux. After about twenty minutes the ground began to rise slightly (Infantry Hill), […]

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