Salisbury Military History Society
November 2022 eNewsletter

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Parish Notices

Wednesday 23rd November

7.30pm (arrive from 7pm) – ‘What does a Curator of Artillery do?’ with Philip Magrath

For those that have visited Fort Nelson in Portsmouth or the Royal Artillery’s former Firepower! museum in Woolwich, you would’ve been fascinated by the evolution of artillery pieces over time and awestruck by the size and intricate designs of some of the historical pieces. Captain William Congreve established an artillery school at Woolwich in 1778 beside the Royal Military Academy and, as the spoils of war often included enemy weaponry, this educational establishment began to take on an additional function as a repository – soon being renamed the ‘Repository of Military Machines’. When the Repository moved to the Rotunda in 1820 its dual role as training institution and museum was consolidated. Today, responsible for an almost 250-year-old collection, what does a ‘Curator of Artillery’ do?

For Full Members, the cost of entry is included in your annual subscription. For all other attendees, you can pay £10 on the door.

We accept cash, card and cheque payments at meetings. Cheques should be made out to the ‘Salisbury Military History Society’.

Rather than queuing to pay your 2023 subscription at the door at the January meeting, we encourage everyone to pay in advance by bank transfer if possible. The Committee proposes to keep the annual subscription at just £45. 

Sort code 40-40-14

Account No. 02293544 

Please include your name as the payment reference 

 Upcoming talks

Wed 25th Jan – ‘The Great Game: Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia’ with Major Gordon Corrigan

Wed 22nd Feb – ‘The Battle of Minden, 1759’ with Major General Ewan Carmichael

Wed 22nd Mar – ‘Desert Warfare: The Experience of British Empire Armies in the Two World Wars’ with Prof. Gary Sheffield

Wed 26th Apr – ‘Why does the British government never talk about Nuclear Weapons?’ with Dr. Andy Corbett

Wed 24th May – ‘The Soldier’s Soldier: A Leadership Life – Erwin Rommel’ with Prof. Lloyd Clark

Wed 28th Jun – ‘Alfred the Great and the campaign of 878 – What can we know?’ with Prof. Ryan Lavelle

For more information on all our talks, click through to each from our ‘Events’ webpage

 Review: ‘Counter-Insurgency in Malaya: An Imperial Success Story’ with Dr Robert Lyman (Wednesday 26th October)

The 12-year Malayan Emergency (1948-60) was not a “war” to the British or the Malayan authorities, despite it being labelled the Anti-British National Liberation War by the guerrillas. While the imperial forces outnumbered the Communists five-to-one at its peak, it was essential that the actions were led by police and security forces rather than the population feeling they were mired in a civil war. The period of 1950-52 was the most intensive period of military action with 43 per cent of the insurgents’ casualties being incurred, along with 62 per cent of the security forces’ losses. This aligns with the implementation of the Briggs Plan and its continuation by the High Commissioner, General Templer. Ultimately, success is ascribed to the political promise of independence to wider population and their economic support whilst militarily denying food and support to the insurgents. The latter being somewhat different to the Vietnam theatre where insurgents had a good supply chain through North Vietnam and into China.

Read more – Gerald Templer: The smiling tiger

Gerald Templer is buried in Salisbury – Find a Grave: Field-Marshal Sir Gerald Walter Robert Templer

Annual General Meeting: New date

Due to a number of Committee member absences this month, we have moved our AGM to 25th January. The formal notification will be sent to Full Members in the New Year.

Christmas meal

The Committee will meet at The Chapter House at 7pm on Monday 12th December for a Christmas meal and we extend the invitation to everyone. Printed copies of the ‘Function Menu’ will be available at next week’s talk. Our menu selections are required in advance as well as a £5 deposit per person.

Local Events, Online Talks and Podcasts

Click here to see a wealth of upcoming events in Salisbury and surrounding areas. 

While online talks continue, we’ll include them in our eNewsletters. Click on the links below for the next (and future) webinars from a range of organisations. Some of these talks may charge a small fee to join.

Institution of Royal Engineers
Online talk: ‘Lt Col Sir Richard Fletcher’ (Wednesday 16th November)

The Western Front Association
Online talk: ‘The Searchers: The Quest for the Lost of the First World War’ (Monday 28th November)

British Modern Military History Society
Next talk: ‘The Gurkhas’ (Tuesday 6th December)

The Western Front Association
Online talk: ‘German Tanks at Villers-Bretonneux’ (Friday 9th December)

Old Front Line
A fortnightly World War One podcast featuring 30-45min episodes.

Pete and Gary’s Military History: Peter Hart and Gary Bain
For more than 40 years historian Peter Hart has interviewed thousands of veterans about their experience of war.

New Books Network
A series of interviews with authors of military history books.