Sapper History


Illustrated talks designed for a general audience.


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Centenary

an outline of its origins in the early stages of the Great War, its foundation in 1917,

its subsequent development, visiting its cemeteries and its value

to researchers and family history enthusiasts.


World War 1: Mons to the Somme.

Covering the retreat from Mons to the Marne, the advance to the river Aisne, the move to Flanders and the events of 1916. Particular reference is made to the higher command of the BEF, various actions of the Royal West Kent Regiment and the work of the Royal Engineers.


Bailey: the bridge and the man.

A talk about the eponymous bridge, from its development at the start of

world war 2, earlier military bridges, its successors and its current

military and civilian use. See review below.


The Royal Engineers Museum.

A former Sapper’s personal view of the roles of the Royal Engineers as displayed at the

Royal Engineers’ Museum, Gillingham, focussing on their World War 1 activities.

See comment from the IET retired members Group organiser below.


Captain Cecil Tuff QORWK & his brothers.

The four brothers all served in WW1. Two survived, one lies buried in Malta

and the other is currently recorded as having no known grave.


The General Officers of World War 1 - short talk.

A commentary on John Singer Sargent’s painting.


Military Bridging in the Peninsular War.

A commentary on the work and achievement of the British military engineers.

Originally delivered at the Wellington Congress, Southampton University in 2013.


Hobart’s Funnies: before, then and now

Describing the specialised tanks that came to the fore on D Day

and have remained in use since then and were on active duty in Afghanistan.


A Forgotten Medal for Gallantry

The story of the Albert Medal now superseded by the George Cross.


Lt Ewen MC, 23rd Bn London Regt.

Researching a World War 1 soldier from West Kingsdown killed in action 1918.


Lt Col Sir Richard Fletcher RE

Commanding Royal Engineer in the Peninsular War, his life and times.


RSME 200

Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the founding of what

is now the Royal School of Military Engineering at Chatham in 1812.


For more information email


The Royal Engineers Museum - Comment from the IET retired members Group organiser.

I found it fascinating and I know, from comments afterwards, that so

did my members. The Royal Engineers are clearly an outstanding part of the

British army and you demonstrated their skill, achievements

and bravery in an interesting and comprehensive way.


Bailey: the bridge and the man - From Sevenoaks Chronicle

The story of the Bailey Bridge and the man responsible for a wartime design that helped the

allied armies surge through Europe, was told to Probus members by Martin Stoneham

in an illustrated talk that captivated his audience.

The Bailey Bridge was, as Mr Stoneham described, “the original flatpack”. But it could

be put together in half a day, such was the ease of its construction. So durable

was the Bailey Bridge that examples exist today, although the first bridge dated as far back as 1942. Altogether more than 1,500 Bailey Bridges were built across Europe, with

one spanning 4,000 feet over the Rhine.