Britain’s Got Military History Talent

Britain’s Got Military History Talent
The Chalke Valley History Festival
July 7-9 2011

Nelson or Wellington, Monty or Rommel? Whose camp are you in? Should our leaders of today be learning better lessons from the past? Come and hear about the great arguments of military history and the face of modern battle from the people who know, at the inaugural Chalke Valley History Festival – the first national history festival – from July 7-9.

The strong military theme and the exceptional calibre of authors, advisers and servicemen, mean it is an event not be missed by anyone in or connected to the Forces. It is a rare chance to hear war discussed in depth by those who understand it and part of the proceeds will be donated to Help For Heroes.

“In a dramatically changing world, with political leaders often drawing the wrong lessons, a true understanding of history has never been more important,” Antony Beevor, the international bestselling historian and one of the Festival patrons, explains. “This new History Festival, with lectures and debates, is an excellent event to be welcomed and supported.”

Temperatures are sure to rise from the start for those representing the Army and the Navy as the Festival opens with Peter Snow, the contagiously enthusiastic broadcaster and author of To War With Wellington, sharing the stage with Andrew Lambert, one of Britain’s foremost naval historians. Will they settle the argument over who played a bigger part in vanquishing Old Boney?

After some supper cooked by Wiltshire’s finest chef, settle in for Monty vs Rommel with two of Britain’s most distinguished military historians; Gary Sheffield and Peter Caddick-Adams, who is also the most sought after battlefield guide to military commanders around the world.

Among a bursting list of treats, the picture broadens on Friday with that ancient set-piece of Greeks vs Romans before a fulsome schedule on Saturday which has something for all the family. Horrible Histories delves into the wonderful, wicked and weird publishing and programming phenomenon that changed history books for children. Caddick-Adams is back discussing tales of valour that earned Victorian and George Crosses.

The event closes with a formidable panel discussion; The Face of Battle, The British Experience of War from The Falklands to the Present Day. Patrick Bishop, the veteran foreign correspondent, chairs a group that includes two army majors, Fiona Stanford, an army wife for 15 years and author of Don’t Say Goodbye: Our Heroes and the Families They Leave Behind, Rick Jolly, a former Royal Navy doctor and Tim Collins OBE, the former colonel, whose eve-of-battle speech in Iraq was immediately immortalised.

The Chalke Valley History Festival takes place in the beautiful new Chalke Valley Cricket Ground, Bowerchalke SP5 5BA from Thursday July 7 to Saturday July 9 2011.

Tickets are between £4 and £10 and can be purchased individually for each event. A Gold Pass costing £74 will give entry to all events.

All proceeds will be spilt between the Chalke Valley Cricket Ground and Help For Heroes.

For more information and to buy tickets please visit; or call 01722 781 206.


4 thoughts on “Britain’s Got Military History Talent

  1. Bit far for a day trip for us but looks fascinating. I’m a bit of a Nelson man due to his unusual level of concern for his men (unusual for the time) and his capacity to confidently delegate. Not much of a role model as a father, unfortunately.

  2. …………..02.06.11 ….. Graeme Neill………….Ottakars founder James Heneage has launched the inaugural Chalke Valley History Festival with the likes of Michelle Paver Patrick Bishop and Peter Snow due to make appearances….The festival takes place in south-west Wiltshire from 7-9th July and is co-founded by historian James Holland with Antony Beevor one of its patrons…Heneage said In Britain we are blessed with a tradition of brilliant historians and compelling historical novelists yet there are very few festivals to celebrate such excellence. This July we have some of the most eminent historians and spellbinding novelists coming to light the beacon for a new kind of festival a festival dedicated to history….Discussions will span the Ancient World to some of the conflicts of the past 30 years.

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