- The British Army on the Western Front -

Western Front Witness – First World War battlefield audio guides – Somme Witness
Strange Times! 1914 Book Cover – Western Front Witness –WW1 Books– WW1 Stories- Interesting facts about WW1
The Strange Times! book series is available to download from the Amazon Kindle Store.

Why Not Take a Sneak Peak at Some of the Featured Stories?


The ‘Strange Times!’ series of WW1 books provide jaw dropping tales that will have the reader gasping, ‘Did that really happen?’ When fact is stranger than fiction there is no need to make things up!

Only £2.99
Stories featured within Strange Times! 1914:
He Spent the War in a Cupboard
The Lady Who Laughed at Bullets
Trick or Treat
'Best 15 Minutes of My Life', Claimed Grand National Winner
The Hollywood Pals
V.C. Winner Became Olympic Gold Medalist!
"Miss? It was Impossible to Miss!"
(plus many more - over 80 stories included)
The Strange Times! 1914 edition features 80 thrilling, sad or amusing stories that cover all the key events on the Western Front from the first shots to the Christmas truce. These include the account of the soldier who was forced to hide in a Frenchwoman’s cupboard for four years, the ‘Grand National’ winning jockey who considered the best 15 minutes of his life to be participation in a doomed cavalry charge, and the Victoria Cross winner who went on to complete a unique double by subsequently winning an Olympic gold medal.

The immediate reaction was to welcome these much needed reinforcements but as they drew closer it became clear that the advancing ‘Jocks’ were wearing pickelhaube helmets – standard German head gear.  A British officer quickly realised what was happening and ordered the ‘London Jocks’ to open fire and the disguised Germans were driven back.

Image: The London Scottish in action on the Messines Ridge, Halloween 1914. They were the first Territorial soldiers to see action on the Western Front.


On the morning of 31st October, the 1/14 London Regiment (the London Scottish) arrived in the front line south of Ypres.  Within an hour of arriving, they were under attack and found to their horror that their newly issued rifles were defective.  Some relied on their bayonets while others picked up Mausers from the German dead or S.M.L.E. rifles from dead British regular army soldiers.  This helped them fight off the foe but there was still considerable    relief    when    kilted    soldiers    appeared    behind   them.

On This Day - 100 Years Ago - 31st October 1914

Trick or Treat

London Scottish Messines Ridge – Western Front Witness– Strange Times 1914- WW1 Books– WW1 Stories- Interesting facts about WW1

Image :  Arthur Martin-Leake V.C. and bar (i.e. x 2)


Arthur Martin-Leake could reasonably be called the bravest British soldier to survive the Great War.  The Medical Officer from Hertfordshire was the first man to be twice awarded the Victoria Cross; a feat since achieved by only two others. He was first awarded the V.C. in 1902 (during the Boer War) for treating wounded men while under fire.  On 29th October (10 days into the First Battle of Ypres), Arthur crawled around the battlefield in search of wounded men and dragged them back to the comparative safety of the British trench.  This was no impulsive act as he continued his humanitarian task for several hours. During World War 2, Arthur was an air raid warden and eventually passed away in 1953 at the age of 79.

On This Day - 100 Years Ago - 29th October 1914

The First Man to be Awarded Two VC's

Arthur Martin-Leake VC – Western Front Witness– Strange Times 1914- WW1 Books– WW1 Stories- Interesting facts about WW1
VC and Bar x2 – Western Front Witness– Strange Times 1914- WW1 Books– WW1 Stories- Interesting facts about WW1

Image:  Soldier-sailors arrive in Oostende en route to Antwerp.


To help the beleaguered defenders of Antwerp, Winston Churchill organised an expeditionary force of a most unusual type.  Churchill, a member of the U.K. cabinet (First Lord of the Admiralty), persuaded the Prime Minister to allow him to use surplus sailors supported by a Territorial Army cavalry unit belonging to the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars.  The latter happened to be under the command of the First Lord’s brother, Jack Churchill.   The Prime Minister relieved Winston of his cabinet post - as requested - and Lord Kitchener accepted him into the army as a Lieutenant General – the same rank as Sir Douglas Haig! It has been suggested that Churchill was both abusing his power and being reckless with British resources.  However, he had at least made several reconnaissance visits to Antwerp to study its defences, travelling around the city in a Rolls-Royce.

On This Day - 100 Years Ago - 3rd October 1914

Winston's Little Army is Born

Soldier-Sailors Oostende – Western Front Witness– Strange Times 1914- WW1 Books– WW1 Stories- Interesting facts about WW1