Blog post

Welcome to our blog. Here you’ll find contributions from local historians and experts on the subject of Staffordshire’s involvement in the Great War, and on the commemorative events taking place throughout the County.

Anzac Day on Cannock Chase

ANZAC Day on Cannock Chase Richard Pursehouse The New Zealand Rifle Brigade moved its Reserve Depot to Brocton Camp at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, England, at the end of September 1917 and the following April the New Zealanders held their first ANZAC Ceremony on Cannock Chase. The event was very different to what takes place…

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Gitana Street, Stoke: Home of Entertainer Gertie Gitana

Described by some as the “Vera Lynn” of World War One; Gertie Gitana was born in Stoke-on-Trent and became a music-hall star, entertaining people at the home front and injured soldiers in hospital. She did a lot of fundraising for the war effort, including selling studio photographs of herself and holding signings. Gertie also recorded…

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Centenary of the first Anzac ceremony on Cannock Chase

In the gloomy dawn of April 25th 1915 Allied troops waded ashore at Gallipoli on the Turkish coast. The landings were supposed to knock Turkey, an ally of Germany, out of the war but rapidly deteriorated into a squalid slogging-match and ended in an ignominious evacuation from the Gallipoli peninsula in January 1916. The French,…

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Chase Through Time

This project is exploring the rich history of Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All across the Chase, previous generations left their mark on the land. Much is hidden in woodland and heath. This includes one of the best-preserved First World War landscapes in England. Historic England is working with Staffordshire County Council and…

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Captain William Bladon

Captain William Bladen of Basford was one of only two officers of the 5th Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment who was not captured or killed on March 21, 1918 – as the German Army launched its Spring Offensive, a last ditch attempt to win the war. Read his story in The Sentinel https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/history/ww1-captain-who-escaped-kaiser-1256927

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14 – Life on the Home Front

14 is a series of creative short films by Junction 15 in response to the poems of former Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate Tom Wyre on the theme of life on the Home Front in WWI. The collection of poems and short films is a combination of live action, archive footage and superb animation filmed by Emmy…

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Tunnellers of World War 1

Last week there was an interesting documentary from BBC4 about the story about the men who dug tunnels and set explosives beneath the enemy on the Western Front. Some of these brave men were miners from the Cannock Chase coalfield. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01skvnh

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News Archives

  • Anzac Day on Cannock Chase
  • CHRIST CHURCH – The Sandon War Horse: The story of a ‘Frontliner’ of The Great War
  • Presentation of Good Service Ribbons to Land Army Girls in Stafford
  • Gitana Street, Stoke: Home of Entertainer Gertie Gitana
  • Centenary of the first Anzac ceremony on Cannock Chase
  • Business as Usual : the impact of the Great War on the British Ceramics Industry
  • Chase Through Time
  • Captain William Bladon
  • 14 – Life on the Home Front
  • Tunnellers of World War 1