Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The Railway Strike

I was delighetd to find this piece about the 1911 Railway strike:


Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Railway strikes - the great labour unrest 1911 - 1913

 The new edition of FLW situates the original Little Wars in the context of 1913, and the background of strikes, the Home Rule crisis and the shadow of the Great War.

The uniforms of the British army in this period are fascinating - a fusion of service dress and ceremonial headdress.  I have done some research at Kew to see if any specific orders were issued, and to date have not uncovered any information in the 'Aid to Civil Powers' papers.

I found this splendid photo of a Fusilier battalion on duty;

In FLW the Guards are pictured on duty at a station:


Friday, June 23, 2023

Little Campaigns - Volume 2 of FLW - or Garden Kriegspiel ...

 The Spring has arrived, and  Garden Kriegspiel is nearing completion.  This will be the updated version of Little Campaigns, and will bring HG's Kriegspiel annotations to life.  It is time for more photographs in the garden.

As this is a Wellsian Kriegspiel (using HG's spelling, lest the purists and linguists complain) it will feature Army Black as the main illustrations. But there will be a return to the Army Red of 1900 - 1913 - on campaign on the Veldt.

Elastolin Castles will feature, and the book will open with a night at the Opera - Wagner. of course ...


Friday, May 19, 2023

Holding the line - rules

 The rule paly test has involved one Battalion with supporting arms, facing a Company across 'no mans land.'


We have played a numebr of trench games outdoors - usually based on Brigade ++ attackes.  One of the difficult things to simulate outdoors is the narrowness and claustraphobia of trench warfare.  A walk around the preserved trenches in Ypres gives a real feeling for this.  Lord Reith described trench warfare as standing in a narrow, deep, ditch in a field.

The terrain in this game is designed to replicate the narrowness of trench warfare, and the general lack of visibility.

Night fighting

Most of the action took place at night, and the rules used the HG type screen - and party popper for flares.

This seemed to work well.


This was an interesting play test for a small scale campaign, at battalion and company level.  Thansk to the two Pals commanders, TG and JW.  On the German side, it was fairly busy, but on balance, much better than being down south, in Verdun ...

'It will all be over by Christmas'

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Hull Commercials - patrol in No man's land

 Hul Commercials - Orders

A COY Frontline Trench

B COY Reserve Trench 


Sentry A3: A. JONES

Sentry B3: A. ANTHONY

Sentry C3: B. WARD

Recce Party: 




Listening Post: J. MIMMACK

Recce Route start from A3 then make observations from the crater line at B6, then head back to WELLS STREET at B3

The Padre will remind them of the 11th Commandment  Though shalt not get caught.

Observations to focus on intersection of A7 and B8

 As darkness falls, Corporal Allot-Rawson leads the patrol over the bags!
The patrol creeps forward on turns 2 and 3, going prone as a star shell lands.  On turn 4 they appraoch the large shell crater, and bump straight into a German patrol ...

The Hull Commercials 
The Hull Commercials go left, the Germans go left - in the darkness - but the outer men clash.  Norfield is wounded - and a general melee ensues.

 Allott Rawson injuries the German patrol leader, but both he and Thompsett are killed.

Both open up with machine gun and trench mortar fire.  Norfield makes it back and is recovered by the Stretcher Bearers - but a stray mortar round wounds the Company Commander, Major Moore - who is taken to the RAP.

All quiet for the rest of the evening...

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Hull Comercials - into the line

 The Knuston Pals say cheerio, for now, as they head off for Gwalia farm, near Poperinge.  

They are relived by the 15th (Service) Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment (5th Hull Pals, Commercials) who will now 'hold the line' for the coming weeks ...

Friday, February 3, 2023

Holding the line - the raid - follow up

The stretcher party and the Padre went out to find the CSM.  This had to be completed in five game turns; with an alert defeneder firing star shells.  

The stretcher bearers were pinned down on turn 3, and had to retreat  -with one wounded.  CSM King is officialy posted as missing.

Intelligence from from the prisoner - the opposition sector is manned by the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Hohenzollern-Simaringen- Anspach Regiment.  Morale is high!

The Knuston Pals rotation is complete and they will now hand over to the Hull Commercials.  From the original 20, four are dead, one wounded and one missing.  Attached arms have two wounded.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Holding the line - the raid - and recovery

 The raiders went in and captured the sentry - no noise - and so CSM King led the party into the German trench ... so far the raiders have complete surprise.

Turning from the sap, into the trench the German sentry was surprised, and an alert sounded - leading to a short and sharp melee...

Two defeneders killed in round 1, and Pte Thomas.  In round 2 more German defenders were appearing, and the raiders were losing their impeteus.  they fell back, loosing Pte Bradbury.   

Collecting the prisoner, there was a dash through 'no man's land' dodging start shells and Mg fire - with CSM King wounded, and left in a shell hole.

There was an exchange of mortar fire, and then all quiet.  A stretcher party will now have to head out and find the CSM.

Holding the line - the raid

Orders have arrived from Brigade HQ - a raid is to be conducted tonight.  The aim;

'To recce the new sap/listening post, capture prisoners and dirupt the enemy'

'A Coy' recieved the tasking - and the raiding party comprised:

CSM King

Forming up in the frontline trench

And over the bags - a nearby star shell is a close call

A German sentry in the sap

Into the German trench - and the action begins ...

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Holding the line - Day 1 - after action report


Night Report


The wring party went over the Bags at 2330 – with the recce party following.

 On turn two, the wiring party rolled  a 1 - noise - resulting in starshells being fired from the German frontline trench.

Pte Knowlden was illuminated, and two bursts of machine gun fire swept the area.

Knowlden was killed, and Pte Elliot was wounded and recovered to the First Aid Post.  The mission was aborted.

The recce edged towards the enemy position - and sighted a sap/listening post at B6.

They successfully recovered on turn 6.

Orders from Bde HQ have arrived ...


Monday, January 2, 2023

Holding the line - phase 1


A Coy are holding the Frontline Trench – B Coy in reserve

Sentries posted:

A 3 - Thomas

B3 - Bradbury

C2 - Eagling

Listening post - Brock

Major Huband and CSM King are in the dugout at B 2

The OC and CSM

Bradbury on sentry

Colonel – tonight’s tasking from Brigade:


Having taken over the sector – please prepare

·         a four man wiring party and patrol to go out into ‘no man’s land’ and check our wire –

·          a two man recce patrol to ascertain the German wire and any new saps

Please nominate the party from B Coy – and the routes out and back.

A Coy and Mg’s and Mortars will be stood by and aware of the activity.

The wiring party moving forward

Recce patrol receiving orders

Day 1 - Report

A quiet day, with some sniping - Bradbury survived three rounds!  One very near ...

The wiring party and recce patrol are in position to go 'over the bags' at 2330hrs.