Stand With Talbot House, Poperinghe, Belgium

Talbot House Poster
Funds are urgently needed for Talbot House

The Forget Never Project has been raising money to help save Talbot House by holding a sponsored ‘race’. Teams from England and Germany cycled or ran the 250km distance although under the current guidelines, cycling and running were carried out in isolation. The German team won, as they completed their 250km first! Sponsorship came from Germany, France and England and our total so far is £785 – just £215 short of our target of £1,000.

During the Great War, Poperinge was part of unoccupied Belgium. Away from the turmoil of battle in the Ypres Salient, the town became the nerve centre of the British sector. In the heart of this bustling town, the Army chaplains Neville Talbot and Philip “Tubby” Clayton opened a club which they called Talbot House to commemorate Neville Talbot’s brother, Gilbert, who died near Ypres during the war. From December 1915 onwards, and for more than three years, the House provided rest and recreation to all soldiers coming in, regardless of their rank.

Today, the house is closed because of the Corona Virus crisis and unless £100,000 is raised, it may have to keep its doors closed permanently. To find out more about Talbot House, go to their website here.

If you’d like to donate, please get in touch or go to Talbot House Go Fund Me

Photo of the Event was Nick from Heiligenhaus

Participant of the 'race'
Nick from Heiligenhaus

International Day of Peace 21 September

International Day of Peace 21 September 2017
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.
To read the rest: click here
UN website

Tank Corps Formed – 28th July 1917


FRIDAY 28th JULY 1917


Tanks first appeared on the battlefield in 1916 during the Battle of The Somme. By 1917 they had become an essential support to infantry attacks. With increased numbers of machines it became essential to organise them into a separate corps.

On July 28th the ‘heavy branch’ was separated from the machine gun corps by Royal Warrant and given the title ‘Tank Corps’.

The Tank Corps first saw action at the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) but as the battle developed they were found to be totally unsuitable due to the boggy terrain which led to many machines becoming stranded in the mud and easy targets for enemy artillery.

Morale amongst tank crews weakened and infantry confidence in the tanks slipped. It was not a great beginning for the new corps.


On Monday 17th July 1917


One hundred years of The House of Windsor

 In 1840 the British Queen Victoria married the German Prince Albert. He was the son of Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

At that time many of Europe’s families were related – British, Russian and German included.

At the outbreak of war in 1914 George V was on the throne of the United Kingdom and the British Empire. Ever since war had been declared there had been calls from Great Britain and from all corners of the empire for the Royal family to change its name. Things finally came to a head in 1917. In March of that year the Germans had launched a heavy bombing raid over London using a bomber called “Gotha G.1V”. When no statement had come from Buckingham Palace, rumours started to gather pace suggesting that the King must secretly be pro-German.

The King took the decision to adopt a new family name but what would it be?

Names such as Tudor-Stewart, Plantagenet, York, Lancaster, Fitzroy and England were considered but rejected.

On 17th July 1917 the following proclamation was made:

“Now, therefore, We, out of our Royal Will and Authority, do hereby declare and announce that as from the date of this Our Royal Proclamation Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor.”

The King also took the decision of suspending or revoking the British peerages and titles of all his relatives who were fighting on the German side in the war.

By anglicising the Royal Household and other notable estates and titles, King George V permanently changed the appearance of the British monarchy in a move that endures to today.

Wanted: A Volunteer Publicity Officer

The Forget Never Project is currently planning events for 2017 and 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the final years of World War One. We are looking for someone to join us as a volunteer publicity officer to help us publicise our events.
Previous experience is required.
Please let us know if you are interested or if you know of someone who might be interested. Thanks.

Summing Up Our Project

Launch of the Forget Never - The Somme Project

Many thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, without whom the Forget Never – The Somme Project would not have taken place. It was praised by the HLF and is now featured on their website here 

You can also see the short video of many of the events that took place during the year here, on YouTube

Thank you to everyone who helped or contributed in any way to making our Forget Never – The Somme Project a success.

Final Event of Our Project

Stephen Metcalfe MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock welcomed the public to the exhibition at Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea, to commemorate the end of the Battle of the Somme one hundred years ago on Saturday 19 November 2016.
The exhibition saw the end of the five month long project and was a show piece for all the research and work that had been put in by a number of schools in Basildon and community groups. The project inspired by Stephen Metcalfe was run jointly by Basildon Heritage Group and Basildon Borough Twinning Association.
The exhibition was attended by the War and Peace Trench, The Living History Society field hospital and recruitment tent, 10th Essex Battalion re-enactment group, Sentimental Journey, Harriet Bowman Make Up Artist and many other displays.
The Project started in June with the making of a CD called ‘The Padre’ by a German band from Basildon’s twin town of Heiligenhaus called Fricklesome Amsel in collaboration with school choirs from Lee Chapel Primary School and Beauchamps High School.
July saw a Memorial Cricket Match to Richard Bartlett who was a local Wickford cricketer who died on the Somme.
In September a group of Woodlands Pupils joined a group of pupils from The Gesamtschule in Heiligenhaus on a four day visit to The Somme. This was quickly followed by a class of children from Beauchamps High School visiting the Army Medical Museum at Aldershot. Commemorative trees were planted at various sites around the borough to remember local men who died during the Somme conflict.
A record of all these events was displayed in the exhibition.
The programme of the weekend included a live performance of ‘The Padre’ by Lee Chapel Primary School choir and a display by Wickford ATC Band. A Physical Training display of 100 years ago was put on by pupils of Woodlands School who were joined by Rio Team GB  gymnast Brinn Bevan. Brinn was joined by Basildon Mayor David Harrison to unveil a plaque to commemorate sportsmen who fell on the Somme.


School children and teachers  from Heiligenhaus who had joined Woodlands pupils on the Somme in September were in attendance as were two school teachers from Meaux. Soldiers from Basildon, Heiligenhaus and Meaux were commemorated on a glass memorial presented by Stephen to Basildon’s Mayor. The memorial lists all the fallen from the three twin towns.
Finally Emma Cook from The Heritage Lottery Fund attended as was impressed by the whole project and praised the efforts of the organisers and dedicated volunteers who had been engaged in the project and the exhibition.