The Western Front Association (WFA) was set up in 1980 to educate the public in the history of The Great War 1914-1918, with particular (but not exclusive) reference to the Western Front. It was founded by noted military historian John Giles and has grown to include many thousands of members worldwide.
The WFA takes care of a number of existing memorials on the Western Front; some belonging to the WFA as well as others. The WFA owns the Butte de Warlencourt on the Somme which is currently being restored in readiness for the Centenary of the end of the battle of the Somme in 1916. The WFA has worked with the UK Government to draw up the programme of centenary events to commemorate The Great War 1914-1918.
Each year on 11 November (except when this is Remembrance Sunday) the WFA gathers at the London Cenotaph to remember those of all sides who fought in the conflict. On the evening before, the WFA commemorates the arrival of the British Unknown Warrior at Victoria station in London on 10 November 1920.
The Devon and Cornwall Branch of the WFA which was set up in 1988; hold regular meetings on the last Friday on each month (apart from August and December) in the small hall at the Avenue Church in Newton Abbot. Meetings start at 7.30pm until 9.30pm with many published speakers who cover a wide range of topics on the Great War.
It is not necessary to be a member of the WFA to attend branch meetings; just come along. A donation of £4 is requested to cover hire of the hall and speakers expenses/fees; this also includes refreshments.
Speakers for 2015 have included Dr Simon House: the French army activities in August 1914, Michael Orr: The Artist Rifles. Other speakers for 2015 include Neil Hansen; The first Great Escape, Edwin Astill; St Luke’s Exeter in the Great War, and Peter Hart: Somme success; The RFC and the battle of the Somme 1916.
Bren Hand, Branch Chairperson
Visit the WFA website at: www.westernfrontassociation.com