|Group leader||Barrie Friend|
|Meets||First Tuesday of the month, 10.30am-12.30pm|
|Venue||Lincoln Arms, near Dorking Station|
Military history is more than just ‘guns and gore’ for it also includes topics that are associated with conflict and the consequences of war.
Our aim is to share knowledge through talks, discussions, demonstrations and visits. The group is not restricted to just one era or war but covers all aspects from pre-history up to today. Your enthusiasm and enquiring mind are all that is required. If you have specific knowledge of a battle or military topic to share, that is welcomed. There is no obligation to make a formal presentation.
We have enjoyed discussing the Falklands War, Waterloo, war gaming and the Middle East conflicts. We are planning to study the protection of Britain against invasion by Napoleon and Hitler, followed by a visit to local defensive sites and, later, the Spanish Civil War.
We encounter much evidence of war on our doorsteps (V1 attacks on Surrey in the Second World War, Zeppelin raids on Guildford during the Great War, the Canadian army in Dorking, a local Paratroop veteran who fought in the Falkland Islands, IRA bombings in London, English Civil War sites, our own Surrey regiments) and also a little further afield in Europe (the battles of Waterloo, the Western Front and the D-Day landings).
Military history also encompasses topics associated closely with conflict. These include art (William Orpen, John Singer Sargent), music (Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth), poetry and literature (Rudyard Kipling, Wilfred Owen, Vera Brittain), architecture (Edwin Lutyens), memorialisation (our own war memorials, Betchworth Village Memorial Hall), the Unknown Warrior, development of medicine and surgery (blood transfusions, X-rays), the role of women in war (VAD, QAIMNS), the Home Front, and the impact of war on society.
This richness of topics has a fascinating and wide history and lends itself to expanding our understanding with talks by group members, discussions, visits to war museums, sites of action in the UK and Europe, authors’ and musicians’ homes and research in local and national archives.