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Retro Festival 2017 (Newbury Showground)

 

Retro Festival 2017 (Newbury Showground)

Our Second event of August was Retro Festival at Newbury Showground, where we were booked in as exhibitors with our Forgotten 14th Army, Burma display.

We arrived on the Friday morning and we were shown to our pitch. We were a little apprehensive as we had not attended before and we did not know what to expect. What we got was a friendly welcome from the organisers, a large area to set up on and quickly settled in.

After a couple of teething problems with the ‘big top’, we got the field hospital tent up and set out our display ready for the Saturday morning. The next task was our accommodation so we got about pitching our Bell tents behind the display and setting up our messing area.

Retro Festival officially opened on the Friday evening for Music and entertainment, so after some food, we changed into our glad rags and went for a wander.

There are 3 music marquees playing music from the 40’s (WW2 and swing), 50’s (Rock and Roll) and 60s/70s/80s (Northern Soul, Soul, Mod etc.).

Saturday and Sunday were the open days for the public to come and see our display. Saturday was very busy and we met lots of great people whose relatives had served in Burma. They all had a story to tell and it was fascinating to hear them.

Saturday evening, we paid a visit to each of the music marquees, but retired to bed early as we were all tired.

Sunday again was very busy and by 6pm we had closed up our display and started to pack up. 3 hours later we were driving out of Newbury Showground after having had, an absolute brilliant weekend.

We all thoroughly enjoyed this event, there was a lovely atmosphere, lots of people made an effort and dressed in various retro styles and the organisation was brilliant. We would recommend this show to anyone who loves anything vintage. The music was great, there were loads of vintage vehicles, lots of vintage traders and we were made to feel very welcome.

All in all, a fantastic weekend and hope to return.

Here is a gallery of pictures from the weekend.

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Torbay Steam Fair 5th and 6th August 2017

 

Torbay Steam Fair 5th and 6th August 2017

The first weekend of August was yet again Torbay Steam Fair and we had been invited back with our display.
It was to be a weekend of firsts for our group. For one of our members it was the first time attending the event in over 20 years. For another member, it was the first time he had portrayed a WW1 Tommy in the trenches and last but no least it was the first outing of our new big top.

Due to the weather, the public day on Friday 4th, had to be cancelled. This meant that our set up day was moved from the Thursday to the Friday.
It was the right decision by the committee to keep the event attendees and public away as it helped to preserve the site and stopped it getting churned up by all the vehicle movement.

Friday was spent setting up and learning the ways of our new tent, which is in fact a British Army Field Hospital tent, the design has not changed since the first world war.

 

Saturday and Sunday were the open days for the public and as hoped the sun came out and the weather was perfect all weekend.

A WW1 Trench system had been dug and trench tours were conducted all weekend.

Yet again we had a great weekend supporting this local event, for some of the group, raising money for S.S.A.F.A. and we are already looking forward to next year.

Here is a gallery of some of our pictures.

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Plymouth Armed Forces Day 2017

Plymouth Armed Forces Day 2017

On Saturday 24th June we were invited by Hidden Heritage to return to Plymouth Armed Forces Day on Plymouth Hoe.

We were part of the History Zone and with crowds expected to be over 40,000 we knew we would have a busy day. With us in the zone were a display from Hidden Heritage, Warriors of Ragnarok, a Viking combat display team, Plymouth Medieval Society, Sealed Knott Society Group and some members of the 29th US Infantry Division with a couple of their Willy’s Jeeps.

We had our Forgotten 14th Display and the WAS(B) girls, which had so much interest, especially from people who knew or had relatives who served in Burma. We also met several Veterans who were in Korea and it was an honour for us to chat with them, they were so proud to show their medals which they had earned.

As always our weapons display had so much interest and also our box of Wartime Smells was very popular, with many families trying them and trying to guess what they may be.

It was a real pleasure to be asked back to this special event and it made it all the worthwhile hearing all the lovely feedback, about what we do, from the people we talked to.

Thanks also to Sam from Free2Be Photography for some great photos, here is the link to her facebook page free2besamscantlebury

 

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Dig for Victory Show 2017

Dig for Victory Show 2017

 

This year at the Dig for Victory show we were asked to do a display to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of El Alamein, North Africa, 1942.

The A.T.S. girls displayed their mobile canteen and office. The ‘Desert Rats’ set up their desert warfare display including Mortar pit, Camp area and forward R.E.M.E. workshop, accompanied by a Universal carrier, 6 Pounder Anti tank gun, Anti tank gun portee and an Austin K6 truck.

Many thanks to the owners for the loan of their vehicles for our display.

We had a great weekend speaking to the public and some WW2 veterans. We also heard many accounts of Fathers, Uncles and other relatives that served in North Africa.

Many servicemen and women fought in the North African campaign and we aim to ensure that their sacrifices are not forgotten, Lest We Forget.

Here are some of the pictures from the weekend

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Torbay Airshow 2017

Torbay Airshow 2017

This weekend we attended our first show of the year as Homefront to Battlefront. We spent both Saturday and Sunday at the fabulous Torbay Airshow, where we premiered our new Burma display honouring the men and women who fought with the 14th Army.

It was a great weekend, where we met and talked with lots of interesting people, educated others on our equipment and our Burma display and listened to lots of stories from veterans and veterans families. We even met one Japanese gentleman who kindly translated the writing on our captured Japanese prayer flag.

The flying displays were fantastic. Its brilliant to think that it is all organised as a free event. We managed to collect some pennies in our S.S.A.F.A. charity bucket and hope we can raise more than we did last year. Thank you to everyone who took the time to come and speak to us, it is this interaction that makes it so rewarding.

Here are some pictures of our display over the weekend.

 

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Torbay Air Show

 

This weekend, 3rd and 4th of June, Homefront to Battlefront will be displaying for the first time this year at the Torbay Air Show on Paignton Green. We will be concentrating on portraying the men and women who fought for and helped the 14th Army in Burma, from late 1943 to the end of the war in 1945.

 

The British Fourteenth Army was a multinational force comprising units from Commonwealth countries during World War II. Many of its units were from the Indian Army as well as British units and there were also significant contributions from West and East African divisions within the British Army.

It was often referred to as the “Forgotten Army” because its operations in the Burma Campaign were overlooked by the contemporary press, and remained more obscure than those of the corresponding formations in Europe for long after the war.

For most of the Army’s existence, it was commanded by Lieutenant-General William Slim.

 

If you are attending the Torbay Air Show, please come and find us and say hello.

Torbay Air Show Website

 

http://torbayairshow.com/

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“Keeping the punch in the Army’s fist”

“Keeping the punch in the Army’s fist”

This was how Monty described the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in North Africa.

At the outset of WW2, the maintenance and repair of equipment was largely in the hands of individual Regiments and several of the then extant Corps. Such as the Royal Army Ordinance Corps, the Royal Army Service Corps, Royal Engineers and so on.
This led to much conflict of interest, some ridiculous and very ingenious indenting for spares and tools and very disparate standards of efficiency from Unit to Unit. It was almost impossible to enforce best practices under such circumstances and efficiency was falling off rapidly at a time when a uniformly high standard was desperately needed.

As a result of decisions made by a Cabinet Committee formed to overcome this problem, chaired by Sir William Beveridge. It was decided that a single Corps should be set up to deal with maintenance and repair of all Army equipment. To that end, the nexus of the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers was formed in 1942. From the very beginning the newly formed Corps was designated Royal, a significant honour and indicative of the faith engendered in it’s innate ability to deliver the goods as required.

Many Tradesmen from the RAOC, RASC and the RE’s were transferred to the newly minted REME, immediate steps were also taken to provide trade training and even Apprentice facilities for the new Corps. Because of the exigencies of the War and the difficulties in separating everything at once, with resultant chaos and resentment from established chains of command, it was decided to implement the changeover in two phases.

Initially, in Phase one, each Regiment kept a small cadre of personnel on strength to do running repairs to vehicles and equipment. RASC Transport Company’s kept, for the time being, their own Base Workshops and the RE’s continued to maintain their own specialised equipment such as Construction plant and Railway Rolling stock. All Regiments and other units were affiliated to a Field or Base Workshop run by REME for their secondary and major repairs.
They also carried out the recovery of knocked out tanks from the battlefield and to do this they eventually were equipped with Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARV) which were versions of the basic tank, with no main armament, a dummy turret and with a crane and winch attached. This shows a Churchill ARV, which remained in service until the 1960’s.

REME’s first test came in the form of the Battle of El Alamein and it’s ability to rapidly restore damaged vehicles and equipment to battle readiness was sorely tested but emerged triumphant. This was instrumental in enabling Monty’s lads to keep up the pressure that soon broke the Afrika Korps and the Italian Army’s ability to stand and slog it out. REME’s policy of providing repair facilities, known as Field Workshops, as close to the “Front” as possible was a great success

This year one member of our group will be celebrating the 75th Birthday of the REME during numerous shows.

Here are some pictures of the R.E.M.E, in North Africa repairing the equipment of the British 8th Army, circa late 1942

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Blitz Tea Room photoshoot

Homefront to Battlefront were recently invited to take part in a 1940’s photo shoot at the Blitz Tea Rooms in Weston-super-mare.

As we love all things WW2, we were happy to help and here our some of the pictures.

Thanks to Michelle at the Blitz Tea Rooms, Cherrybomb vintage for the authentic period accessories and credit to Mike Davies for the photography.

Links to their website appear under our Stores and Rations page and our Allies and Friends page.

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Carfest South 2017 for BBC Children in Need

We are pleased to announce we have been invited once again to Carfest South.

Carfest is a great family fun event, all for a fantastic cause, BBC’s Children in Need.

We can be found once again in the vintage village. If you are attending this year, come and say Hi.

Carfest Website

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Retro Festival Newbury

 

Homefront to Battlefront are confirmed to be appearing at the Retro Festival in Newbury. If you are attending, please come and find us and say hello.

Ticket are still available from the website

Retro Festival Newbury tickets here