7TH APRIL 2014
Janet is very kindly sponsoring a poetry Competition for the for the Centenary.
Topics: Remembrance, War and Battles (No Limericks!)
Under 12 year old £25
12 - 16 year olds £25
16+/Adults £50
Closing date for Entries - June 7th 2014
Download a Poster
'A New Year A New Name!' Marking the continuing development of the branch and recognising the sphere of interest of branch activity and members the Trustees and Members agreed for the Dorset and South Wiltshire Branch WFA to be renamed Wessex Branch WFA with effect from New Year's Day 2014.

  1. The 7th December meeting is a Members Exhibits and Social if anyone would like to brings along memorabilia, artefacts, ephemera to this meeting please let me know how many tables you would like as soon as possible. Thank you. If you exhibited last year please don't feel you are excluded as all contributions gratefully accepted and some may not have seen your exhibits last year.
  2. As per the attached flyer, The La Boisselle Study Group presents, WW1 Uncovered on Friday 18th October 2013 at the Palmer Building, Reading University, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6UR. For more details and tickets please email You are assured of a most entertaining evening.
  3. The branch has been approached by BBC South to assist in a Radio and On-line project "Our place in the First World War". They are seeking stories on a range of themes which includes the following subjects,
    • Soldiers of many nations
    • War on the Front
    • War at Sea
    • War in the Air - home and away
    • War at home - e.g. refugees; conscription; PALs etc.
    • Women
    • Media, arts, culture
    • Memory e.g. commemoration via memorials
    • Technology
    • Everyday life - e.g. shortages, changing status of the workforce; DORA; food
    • Children
    • Medical innovation / treatment

The BBC is keen to get as many submissions from relatives and those interested in the Great War etc. as possible although broadcast cannot be guaranteed the better the story the better the chance. If you can help with this project please contact the branch secretary or chairman in the first instance as we will then send a consolidated list of potential participants to BBC South.
Please get in touch with the Branch Secretary if you are interested in points 1) and 3)
5TH JULY 2013
Please visit Battlefield Tours 2014 - 2018 to see our Battlefield Tour plans so far for the Centenary.
24TH APRIL 2013
Summer Field Trip 15th June 2013
The field trip planned for the National Arboretum has now been cancelled due to lack of numbers. We shall instead be going to the IWM Duxford which had to be cancelled in March due to the weather. We need names please by the 18th May. Those of you who had paid for Duxford but came with us to RAF Museum Hendon will only have to pay the coach fare. The final cost will be dependent on numbers as always. Please could those interested in coming contact us as soon as possible. A £10 non-refundable deposit will be required as soon as possible. You can contact us via the contact us page on this web site or by post.
British Memorial Association Fromelles
This year's annual British Service of Remembrance will take place on 9th May at the Australian Memorial Park, Rouges-Bancs, Fromelles at 18.00 hours. Maps and directions are in the downloadable PDF file below. Would those hoping to attend please let Victoria know via email, with the number of people within their party.
Would anyone wishing to lay a wreath, flowers or any other tribute (i.e. a small poppy cross etc.) kindly notify me of this in advance in order for this part of the service to run as smoothly as possible? I am quite happy to order wreaths for other guests providing I have the necessary details, but requests as soon as possible please. I'm also happy to order and/or lay a poppy wreath or small poppy cross on behalf of those who are unable to attend the service. Again, all details as soon as possible.
As in previous years, we would invite you to bring with you a pebble to lay alongside the wreaths during the service. These pebbles will, in due course, form the foundation of our British Memorial at Fromelles.
Directions to the Australian War Memorial Park
Fromelles Map.
Collingwood Memorial Service
This years' service will be held at 15.00hrs 7th June at the Collingwood Memorial Blandford Camp. Those wishing to attend and not received an invitation from the Friends of Collingwood Memorial please contact Stuart Adam 01258 453797
19th February 2013
If you have not yet put your name down for the 10th Anniversary Lunch on the 20th April can you do so as soon as possible the closing date for the lunch is the 16th March thank you. You can contact the Chairman via the website under contact us or Sandra at the next meeting (16th March).
We are pleased to announce that Sandra Twyford has agree to take on the publishing of the Dugout following Helens departure to another area of the UK. Sandra's email address is as follows:- Sandra will be pleased to hear from members with your, articles, book reviews, in fact anything to do with the Great War that will make an interesting read for our branch newsletter. This is your newsletter so please use it.
Please see the new Events 2014 page. If you are interested in attending these events please contact the branch via the Chairman his details are under contact us on the web site. The September Battlefield tour will run as usual.
The National WFA are trialling branch adverts in the above magazine. We are very pleased to announce that Dorset & South Wiltshire have been chosen by the magazine to be the first branch to have their monthly meeting advertised. The advert will go into the April Magazine advertising Chris Newbery (Formally Director Royal Marines Museum) speaking about Royal Marines at Gallipoli.
29th January 2013 - Sadly our 10th Birthday lunch scheduled for 16th March 2013 has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstance with the kitchen at the hall. This has now been re-scheduled for the 20th April meeting. For further details of menu etc. please contact us.
18th January 2013 - Branch AGM to be held at 14.00 on the 9th February, followed by a talk by Jeremy Banning - The Battle of Arras.
Spring Field Trip, 23rd March, IWM Duxford, see events page.
Collingwood Memorial Service, Collingwood Memorial Blandford Camp, Dorset. 7th June 2013 Please contact us for details.
Summer Field Trip - date & venue to be announced.
Battlefield Tour 6th - 9th, September 2013 - Ypres Salient & Tanks on the Menin Road. Please contact us for details.
The branch requires a new editor for the Branch Newsletter The Dugout. If you feel able to help with this task please contact us.
25 April 2012 - The British Memorial Association - Fromelles will hold a Service of Remembrance commemorating the 'Battle of Aubers Ridge 1915' on the 9th May 2012. The service will be held at the Australian Memorial Park, Fromelles. For timings and further details enquire through our 'Contact Us' page.
25 April 2012 - The Friends of Collingwood Memorial will be holding their Annual Remembrance Service at the memorial on Friday 1st June 2012 commencing at 3pm. The service will be followed by tea in the Officers Mess, Blandford Camp by kind permission of the Garrison Commander. This service remembers those of the Collingwood Battalion RND who gave their lives on the 4th June at Gallipoli and those of the Marine and Naval battalions of the RND. If you wish to attend or become a 'Friend' please contact Friends president Stuart Adam, Camvere House, Portman Road, Pimperne, Blandford, Dorset DT11 8UJ.
25 April 2012 - The latest branch publication in association with The Keep Military Museum, "A Sergeant-Major's Death" by well known author Martin Middlebrook, the moving sequel to "A Sergeant- Majors War" is available at Branch meetings or by post. The cover price is £5.00 plus postage and packing if mailed.
14 March 2012 - The branch is pleased to announce that its June 2nd trip to Bletchley Park is fully subscribed.
4th February 2012 - The branch School Competition for 2012 launched. This year the competition includes a new Photo - Essay section. For more details please go to our 'Education' page.
17 May, 2011 - If you would like to make a donation to the British Memorial Association, Fromelles you can now do so via PayPal. Please click on the 'Donate' button below. To learn more about the Association please visit

7 May, 2011 - Branch representatives were honoured to be among those present at the dedication of the Dorset Great War Memorial.
14 February, 2011 - Added Issue No. 7 of the Dugout
31 January, 2011 - Dedication Service for the Dorset Great War Memorial added.
10 January, 2011 - Events schedule for 2011 published and the branch 2011 Schools Competition Launched.
12 November, 2010 - For those around on the Western Front during armistice time Peter Barton aided by his colleague, researcher and historian Jeremy Banning, will be giving an illustrated lecture on the Battlefields of Arras. Venue for the lecture will be the Wellington Quarry, Arras. Full details can be found at Please note the lecture will be in FRENCH but there will be time available at the end for questions (in English).
9 October, 2010 - The Branch is pleased to host the official launch of the British Memorial Association, Fromelles which will take place immediately following the scheduled talk by Peter Barton on The Records of the Red Cross. Further information can be found in the following news release.
30 September, 2010 - The 2010 WFA Branch Schools Competition - Presentation Evening will take place at The Tank Museum, Bovington. The presentation event starts at 19:00 and is preceded by a guided tour of The Museum starting at 18:00. All are welcome.
24/25 September, 2010 - In association with the Dorset Family History Society the Branch will present an "Ancestors in the Great War Workshop" to be held at "Treetops", the DFHS research centre, Stanley House, Fleets Lane, Poole, BH15 3AJ. For further details and an application form please visit
01 September, 2010 - Added Branch Gallipoli Tour May 2010 in Members Articles, Child Okeford New Roll of Honour and the Dorset Regiment Great War Memorial Takes Shape articles in the War Memorials section, and Issue No. 6 of The Dugout. Also updated the Personal Inscriptions article in Members Articles.
20 July, 2010 - Added Prisoner of War article

Tunnellers Memorial

19 June, 2010 - An estimated three to four hundred people were in attendance at Givenchy-Lès-La Bassée on 19 June for the unveiling ceremony of the Tunnellers' Memorial. A brief report on a wonderful and superbly organised ceremony can be found at the links below. It was a very special day in commemoration of the tunnellers' that will live long in the memory of all those that were present. Representatives from at least three branches of the WFA were present at the ceremony which was very pleasing to see.
A BBC Wales Today report on the ceremony is available at
Pictures and video will be added to the Tunnellers Memorial website in due course.
30 March, 2010 - Added Issue No. 5 of The Dugout newsletter and updated Personal Inscriptions article
17 March, 2010 - Branch member Victoria Burbidge is the British Historian and Representative for the Association Fromelles-Weppes - Terre de Mémoire 14-18. She worked with author and historian, Peter Barton, to extract from the Red Cross lists the names of some of the British and Australian men killed during the Battle of Fromelles in 1916.
On 17th March, 2010 the British and Australian governments announced that 75 of the soldiers killed at the Battle of Fromelles and subsequently recovered from the Pheasant Wood mass grave had been positively identified. Sadly no British soldiers could be named at this stage.
While they could not be named individually, three British soldiers were confirmed to be among the 250 soldiers recovered from the mass graves at Pheasant Wood and 128 were confirmed to have served the Australian Army. The remaining 44 are, for the time being, classified as 'unknown'.
BBC reporter Robert Hall talks to Victoria about the significance of the announcement in the following two clips:
Further information on the First World War burial pits discovered at Fromelles is available at
15 March 2010 - Added Branch Battlefield Tour 2010 - Draft Itinerary v1.0 in Events 2010
15 February, 2010 - Added Sopwith Aircraft of the Great War in Members Articles
27 January, 2010 - Branch website is launched.