This Day In History

1918 Battle of the Selle. In a carefully-planned attack, rehearsed over 5 days, 5th East Lancashires mount a remarkably successful night assault near Briastre. They move off at 2 a.m., in a heavy downpour which lasted throughout the engagement, to the sound of the Regimental March being played by the battalion band. Met by heavy machine-gun fire and an artillery barrage which causes 50 casualties, they charge through with a yell and are on their final objective well before the 7 a.m. deadline set, taking 300 prisoners in the process. Casualties are 2 officers and 13 men dead, and 6 officers and 109 men wounded. Some 22 German dead were counted on the battalion front. Study of the ground the next day shows that the battalion had gone through no fewer than 6 defensive belts, including a very strongly-held railway embankment, before reaching its final objective. The 300 prisoners were ‘of far better physique and appearance’ than any of the enemy previously encountered, and turn out to be picked troops. They said that they were members of Kaiser Wilhelm’ bodyguard; that they had never before known defeat; and that they had been sent to hold the line at all costs.
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Chairman’s Annual Report 2013

Report to the Annual General Meeting Thursday 12th December 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the AGM of the Friends for 2014. I am also pleased to welcome a guest, Mr Bernard Rostron from the British Association of Friends of Museums.

I will start by taking take this opportunity to personally thank all my colleagues on the committee for their support and input throughout the year.

On behalf of the Friends Management Committee I can report on a successful year for the Friends.

As a consequence of the support given by the  Management Committee a  full programme of events was run throughout the year, with the Battlefield Tour to Northern Spain and across the border into Southern France as a highlight.

Again, with the help of the Committee, we can present what we believe to be an interesting list of events for 2014, with the Battlefield Tour for 2014 concentrating on the opening months of the Great War and the part played by our antecedent Battalions in the early stages of that epic struggle.

For those of you with keen eyesight, and memories, you will have noticed that we have yet again planned for a trip to the “Cold War Museum” at Cosford.

We do believe that this is an interesting, and important, part of our heritage and well worth a look, hence our second listing.

However as a committee we recognise that we are not infallible and would like your feedback on this, and any other, suggested trip. I do know there have been comments regarding the prices previously quoted but we are, I’m afraid, stuck with the flat rate charges for the hire of a coach no matter what we do!

So please let me, or anyone else on the committee, know what you think; and if anyone has any suggestions again please let us know.

For 2015 we are clear that the Battlefield Tour will involve Waterloo but we have yet to finalise anywhere beyond then. Again suggestions are most welcome for future tours.

One major administrative piece of work carried out during the year was a long overdue updating of our membership list. My personal thanks to all those who completed and returned the forms sent out, and my apologies for having to send out such a bundle of paperwork in the first place.

The net result has been an anticipated reduction in current membership but, as our list had not been properly reviewed for nearly 10 years, this was expected.

The outcome affects the Friends materially in three ways;

1. We are now able to issue some 90% of our membership with information via e-mail with a concomitant large reduction in our postal costs.

2. With an up to date list of membership we are now better able to plan our income on a year on year basis.

3. We can now better monitor our membership and, hopefully, avoid such a large scale exercise in the future.

In respect of our financial situation I can confirm that we continue to be in the “Black” and that our assets will allow us to make a larger than usual donation to the Museum this year of £5000 towards the Museums current large scale project for the uplift of the Somme Room.

Looking ahead to 2014 I have to advise you of one significant change to our committee, Roy Bartaby has announced his intention to step down as Treasurer in the New Year. On behalf of the committee I would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks for the many long hours of hard work that Roy has given to us, and you the members.

In closing may I thank on your behalf all the members of the Friends Management Committee for their time, effort and input into making 2013 a successful year and I would like to thank you, the Friends, for your continued enthusiastic support.

Finally committee would like to wish everyone the complements of the coming festive season and hope that you all enjoy your lunch here today.

Mr D A Rogan


12th December 2014