Please see "Venue" for details of the times and where we meet.

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Further meetings are planned for 11th November and 8th December, also at Didsbury Toc H Rugby Club, Ford Lane, Didsbury, M20 2RU. See the "News" section for the latest situation.


Wednesday 8th December at 7.15 pm

Artillery Conquers: Infantry Occupies

This lecture by Lt Col Simon Shephard seeks to assess the performance of the British Expeditionary Forces artillery during the preparation for, and conduct of, the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.  To carry out this assessment, it uses a set of Principles of War which Col J F C Fuller published in the February 1916 edition of the RUSI Journal. These are often referenced as the start point for the way the British Army has subsequently developed its use of the Principles of War.

The lecture will focus on the conduct of the artillery battles at Army, Corps and Divisional level for:

  • Pilkem Ridge, 31 July - British Fifth Army;
  • Menin Road Ridge, 20 September - British Second Army;
  • Second Passchendaele, 26 October to 11 Movement - Canadian Corps.

The presentation will be given in two parts each lasting approximately 35 minutes with a short 5 min break in between. There will be the usual Q&A session at the end. 

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Shephard AGS(SPS) completed his 37-year Regular career in 2018 and remains an active member of the Army Reserve, serving on the staff of the Army Officer Selection Board, Westbury. He spent 9-years in the ranks, including a period of time in the Small Arms School Corps before commissioning through the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.   The majority of his officer career has been spent delivering personnel policy and operational G1 activities. Always interested in military history, following his attendance on the Chief of the General Staff’s, SOMME 16, Staff Ride he decided to complete the MA course in Britain and the First World War at Wolverhampton University under Dr Spencer Jones and Professor Gary Sheffield. He has presented his findings to the Western Front Association, the Royal Artillery Historical Society and to the Royal Engineer Historical Society together with various British and Canadian artillery regiments. His work appears as a chapter in Dr Spencer Jones latest book ‘The Darkest Year, The British Army on the Western Front 1917.’ Lieutenant Colonel Shephard is particularly interested in how doctrinal lessons from the past can be applied to the current and future facing the British Army. He is currently working on a consolidated biography of the past President of the Regular Commissions Board.