East London Branch Western Front Association & Vestry House Museum

Western Front Association





A First World War Open Day

Saturday 6 May 2017 from 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

Come to Vestry House and St Mary’s Church, Walthamstow, to learn about The Great War and its effects on Waltham Forest. As well as exploring the wonderful exhibits and archives kept at Vestry House and the memorials in the church, you will be able to:
  • meet Great War experts
  • meet some First War soldiers, ask them about their experiences and hear about a Tommy’s life at the Front
  • visit the local parish church with its War Memorials
  • hear about local people’s experiences and about the many casualties buried in local
  • hear the stories of how people’s ancestors fought and survived the war
  • discover the major contribution local industry made with the ‘B’ buses which
    carried to the troops to the Front
  • learn about two forgotten local heroes; J. B. McDowell, one of the men who filmed ‘The Battle of the Somme’ and Haydn Mackey, the war artist whose work hangs in the Imperial War Museum
  • find out how to build your own First War memorabilia collection
  • learn how to use local research to create a First War blog
  • meet locally based authors (subject to availability) including Peter Doyle, Phil
    Sutcliffe; Steven Jenkins; Alan Simpson; Graham Millington; Malcolm Doolin who
    will be signing copies of their books
  • find out about the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the
    Royal British Legion
  • have your medals valued by Antiques Road Show expert, Mark Smith;
  • read about medical support at the Front
  • see why local schools still value the importance of visiting the Western Front
  • search for your First War ancestors on line
  • explore the local Roll of Honour
  • read local newspapers from the war years
  • hear the music of the time
  • buy second hand books
and more…….
During the day, a series of talks will be given in the Community Room and the church including:-
1. Waltham Forest during the Great War by Graham Millington
2. The Walthamstow built ‘B’ type London buses which took troops to the Front by   Neil Houghton
3. Haydn Mackey, M.M., war artist and other medal winners by Mark Smith
4. Recording local casualties in the Waltham Forest cemeteries and the stories behind them by Roy Berg, Katherine Partington, Barbara Durack, Lissa Chapman, Jacqueline and David Baker
5. The Walthamstow Roll of Honour by Chris Hunt
6. How to build a Great War Artefacts Collection by Neil Pearce
7. A Tommy’s Life by Peter Doyle
8. Nobody of Any Importance: A Foot Soldier’s Memoir of World War I, the story of his father’s war, by author and journalist, Phil Sutcliffe;
9. My father’s service in the Tank Corps by Pauline Girling
10. Researching local First War History and building a blog by Alistair McLennan
11. The Walthamstow man who filmed The Battle of the Somme by Malcolm Doolin.
Visitors can come for all or part of the day. The event is free with collections for linked charities. Refreshments will be available for a small donation.
If you would like further details of the event or would like to take part, please contact the organiser, Malcolm Doolin on Malcolm@astraeducation.com or 07710877072.
Vestry House Museum is in Vestry Road, Walthamstow, a short walk from Hoe Street and the railway, underground and bus stations. St Mary’s Church is a two minute walk from Vestry House.
‘The Battle of the Somme’, the historic 1916 film made at the Front before and during the first day of the Somme campaign by Geoffrey Malins and Walthamstow film maker, J.B. (Jock) McDowell, will be shown at 7.00 p.m. on Thursday 29 June 2017 at Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Forest Road. The film will be accompanied by the modern orchestral score composed by Laura Rossi for the film’s 90th anniversary in 2006 and preceded by talks from Laura and Dr Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the Imperial War Museum, who led the restoration of the film.