Colonel (Retired) T L May CBE DL lately Chairman of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Trust and Director of Soldiers of Oxfordshire.

Very sad news today about the passing of Colonel Tim May on Thursday 10th December 2015.  Apart from his immense role in promoting the Oxford Yeomanry and the establishment of the superb museum now open in Woodstock – his role in Winston Churchill’s state funeral has gone down in history.


I covered this incident in my Masters Dissertation on the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars as follows:

The final act that illustrates Churchill’s continuing connection with the QOOH, came with his plans for his own funeral. The stipulation that the QOOH was not only to be included in the procession but to be the fifth military detachment, a position that placed the detachment ahead of the Guards regiments.[1] This provoked a Guards officer to suggest to Major Timothy May, QOOH commander on the day, that the QOOH were “incorrectly” arranged to which May responded “In the Oxfordshire Yeomanry we always do state funerals this way”.[2]

[1] Operation Hope Not, TNA, DEFE 25/38.

[2] Jenkins, Winston Churchill, Oxfordshire Hussar, p.61.

Churchill funeral for Katie

Requiescat in pace.


Captain the Hon. Arthur Edward Bruce O’Neill (1876-1914)

Does anyone know the source for this photograph of Arthur O’Neill or has access to a better copy than this?  This was copied off the excellent “The History of Parliament” blog which noted O’Neill as the first Member of Parliament to lose his life in active service during the Great War.  All suggestions gratefully received!


Daily Telegraph – Monday, 3rd August 1914

One hundred years ago, it was a bank holiday Monday – but the clouds were gathering.

“Germany has drawn the sword. On Saturday night, she formally declared war on Russia.”

“Germany has deliberately commenced war with France without a formal declaration.”

“The Germans have seized the roads and railways of Luxembourg.”

“German troops in Switzerland.”

Our response – “Cheering crowds at Buckingham Palace.”

Screenshot 2014-08-02 12.28.36

In memoriam – Dr Bob Bushaway

Photo was taken on January 21, 2006  by Katie Fleming (auril2008 on Flickr)

Photo was taken on January 21, 2006 by Katie Fleming (auril2008 on Flickr)

1915 – The making of a World War: Dr Bob Bushaway. Recorded at the WFA’s President’s Conference 2012: A World at War 1914 – 1918: A Centenary Preview held in Birmingham, UK on 3 November 2012.

(c) Western Front Association

Biography from the Centre for War Studies website where Bob was an Honorary Research Fellow:

Bob Bushaway is best known for his work on popular culture. He is the author of By Rite: Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880 (London: Junction Books, 1982), but has long been fascinated by the Great War, both its cultural and military history.

His article ‘Name Upon Name: The Great War and Remembrance’, in Roy Porter (ed), Myths of the English (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992) made a major contribution to the emerging scholarship on the construction of memory. He developed some of these ideas in ‘The Obligation of Remembrance or the Remembrance of Obligation: Society and the Memory of World War’, in John Bourne, Peter Liddle and Ian Whitehead (eds), The Great World War 1914-45 (Volume 2, London: HarperCollins, 2001), pp. 491-507. He has also contributed to the Oxford Companion to Military History ed. Richard Holmes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

In addition to “By Rite”, Bob also edited along with John Bourne – “Joffrey’s War: A Sherwood Forester in the Great War”, Salient Books (31 Mar 2012).

Douglas Haig Fellowship

A quick pointer to an organisation that will be of interest to anyone who studies the Great War and in particular, the British Expeditionary Force.

The Douglas Haig Fellowship was set up in 1995 to commemorate and study the life of Douglas Haig (1861-1928), Field Marshal Earl Haig of Bemersyde, his achievements, those of the forces he commanded, and the continuing military historical lessons to be derived from all of these.

The Fellowship seeks to encourage further objective study of the contribution of the Field Marshal to military reform; his generalship and that of his subordinate commanders; the command and control of the British Army during the First World War; the form and working of the relationship between the political Supreme Command and Military Commanders; the conduct of coalition operations; the principles and application of military doctrine generally; the efficiency of military medicine and medical services; and the public duty of care for veterans.

Each year a Member of the Fellowship is appointed Haig Fellow and is asked to give a paper at the Annual Lunch held close to the anniversary of the birth of Earl Haig, on 19th June. Former Haig Fellows have included John Terraine, Professor Peter Simkins, Professor Gary Sheffield, Major Gordon Corrigan, Major-General Julian Thompson and Professor William Philpott. The Fellowship has also established an award for a Haig Scholar, an undergraduate or Master of Arts student, who had distinguished him/herself by the excellence of their dissertation or thesis.

Membership of the Fellowship is open to all who are sympathy with the above aims and entitles the member to receive a copy of the Fellowship’s journal “Records” as well as attendance at the Annual Lecture, held as part of the AGM, and the annual luncheon.

More information can be found at the Fellowship’s website – Douglas Haig Fellowship