Saturday, 26 June 2010

James Dinsdale's Place

Further to James Dinsdale Blog I thoroughly recommend the house and location!! Ideally situated for all the allied sectors in Normandy and cheaper to eat out than the tourist bases on the coast or Caen

Bob Darby

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Normandy 29th July to 26th August

I'll be in Normandy trying to indulge in some fine Norman food and visit as many battle sites as possible during the dates above. Anyone is more than welcome to come over for a few days and join me, I operate an open house policy, I've got my family with me and they get sick of too many battlefields. There is always at least a spare sofa bed and a couple of singles. Bob Darby has been a few times and may well recommend it. I live down a long bocage lane outside Le Molay-Littry which is 9 miles west of Bayeux and 9 miles south of Omaha Beach.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Flame Throwers on The Somme

I have been made aware that a TV production company is excavating the site of the use of flamethrowers by the British Army on the 1st July near Fricourt.

Can any member throw light on this?Email

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The D Day Luncheon - 5 June 2010 Moor Park

Above GBG members Willie Mohan,Dudley Giles, Terry Webb

L-R Seated Paul Biddiss, Julian Thompson, Tom Neathway

The D Day Club had its second annual Luncheon at the historic and majestic Palladian Mansion at Moor Park near Rickmansworth. The building was the Headquarters of Lt General 'Boy' Browning's 1st Allied Airborne Corps prior to Operation 'Market Garden' in September 1944.

The event was a fund raiser for service charities. In attendance were GBG Members Dermot Gallagher, Willie Mohan, James Dinsdale, Anthony Steel, Terry Webb, Joe Hamon, Dudley Giles and Bob Darby who is Chairman of The D Day Club.

The main speaker was Major General Julian Thompson who commanded the initial landing force 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands conflict of 1982. Julian is a well known military author, TV presenter and battlefield guide. Guest of Honour was Corporal Tom Neathway who was severely wounded in Afghanistan in 2008 where he lost both legs and one arm.

Members who may wish to attend next year can get more details by going to the website at There is also a Facebook page for joining as a supporter/member of The D Day Club.

Next Luncheon Sunday 5th June 2011.

Help For Heroes - Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010

This year's charity bike ride for Help For Heroes took place between 24th - 31st May 2010 and covered 350 miles in 5 stages across the battlefields of both the Great and Second War in France and Belgium. The route was Fecamp - Dieppe - Amiens - Arras - Ypres and ended at Dunkirk to coincide with 70th anniversary celebrations

Along the way GGB members manned stands at various battlefield sites and explained to the riders what happened. This was the third year the Guild has assisted Help For Heroes (H4H) in raising monies to support our young service people who suffer both physical and mental trauma as a result of military service. It is probably that H4H has raised in excess of £1 million from this year's ride.

GBG members Bob Darby, John Greenacre, Tim Pritchard-Barrett and Peter Caddick-Adams were the guides or 'Military Historians' as they are referred to by H4H and fellow member Dudley Giles rode to raise monies. Now you now know why Dudley used to bring along his collection bucket to the London Luncheon Club and Guild Weekends!!

H4H recognise the wealth of knowledge and the guiding expertise of our members. We support them on a regular basis year after year.

The next sponsored bike ride will be in September 2010 across the battle sites of Waterloo, Antwerp and the towns and bridges of Market Garden 1944. It is to be called The 'Bridge Too Far' Bike Ride. See for details.

Again, we will be supporting them!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Other 'Dunkirk'

The Harbour at St Valery En Caux
The Cliffs at St Valery
The Memorial to the 51st Highland Division

Many are aware of the Dunkirk evacuation May/June 1940 but what about the other 'Dunkirk' at St Valery En Caux. On the 12th June 1940 over 9000 men of the 51st Highland Division were taken prisoner after arriving at the coast after conducting a successful fighting withdrawal to the Channel port for evacuation by the Royal Navy. It was not to be. Some members of the Division known as 'Ark' Force however did escape the advancing German forces and were evacuated through Le Havre.

This action tends to be overshadowed by Dunkirk but is well worth a visit. I conducted a tour recently in reverse order from St Valery up to Dunkirk via Dieppe and Operation 'Jubilee' We might look at this in the future as a Recce for Guild members

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Road Works - Delays - Reims

A word of warning. Reims is installing a tramway system all at once.

The whole city is in gridlock chaos. Advise anyone who is thinking of a visit to either walk miles or travel to the site by bicycle.

One mistake on the diversions and it’s another 20 minutes to get back to where you made the original mistake.