From football field to battlefield: A review of the GA/WFA Regional Conference in Warwick

The recent GA/WFA Regional Conference, which took place in Warwick on 9 March, was a great success. Over 60 enthusiasts were in attendance.

We got off to a flying start with a superb presentation by Clive Harris on Football in the Dardanelles. The stories of individual footballers who made the ultimate sacrifice, were very moving.

This was followed by Stephen Chambers’ talk Jack Tar: Churchill’s Little Army at Gallipoli. His detailed description of the fortunes of the Royal Naval Division in Belgium and then in Gallipoli were, as usual, complemented by superb pictures.

After lunch we were fortunate to have Adem Bicer, a Turkish battlefield guide, in attendance. He gave the Turkish perspective on the campaign telling us how important their victory was in the development of modern Turkey.

Paul Colbourne, from the Heart of England WFA, then gave a fascinating presentation entitled Feeding the Front: British Army Logistics 1914-15. The statistics he provided on supplying the BEF with food were startling.

The final presentation was by Steve Warburton; A Campaign in Two Halves. He gave a detailed analysis of the 29th Division in the second half of the Gallipoli campaign. His figures on casualties, particularly amongst officers, during the latter part of the campaign, revealed just how tough things were.

There were also two fascinating displays on the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in Gallipoli, with unique photographs, documents and artefacts.

Our thanks go to all of the speakers, who kept all of us entertained and the colleagues who produced, transported and set up the excellent displays. Thanks also to the GA team who worked so hard to make the day possible.

The talks were recorded. When they are available, the videos will be added to this page and to our YouTube channel.

The conference was our second in conjunction with a branch of the Western Front Association (WFA), a partnership which helped to make the day such a success and one that we wish to continue.

Join us in November for the Annual Conference

The Gallipoli Association’s Annual Conference for 2024 will be held in London at the RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly, on Saturday 2 November.

Photos from the day

Clive Harris: “Football in the Dardanelles”
Stephen Chambers: “Jack Tar: Churchill’s Little Army at Gallipoli”
Adem Bicer: “The Turkish Perspective”
Paul Colbourne: “Feeding the Front. British Army Logistics 1914-1915”
Steve Warburton: “A Campaign in Two Halves”
Display: Royal Warwickshire Regiment in Gallipoli