138 episodes

A journey through the Great War

Footsteps of the fallen Matt Dixon

    • History
    • 4.8 ‚ÄĘ 22 Ratings

A journey through the Great War

    The end of the line

    The end of the line

    In our latest podcast, we visit the end of the Western Front and take a whistlestop tour around the Lys battlefield near the North Sea coast of Belgium.

    We look at the military actions that took place in this part of the battlefield including the famous flooding to stem the German advance and look at the heroic actions of French Marines in their stemming the tide of the German advance.

    We visit the Nieupoort Memorial to the Missing, and the Albert Memorial and then head inland to the German cemetery at Vladslo where we hear the story of the creation of poignant statues "The Grieving Parents".  We visit Dixsmuide and hear about the terrible fighting that destroyed the town, visit the Ijer Tower, and finish at the infamous Death Trenches adjacent to the Yser Canal.

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    • 1 hr 4 min
    The Foresters of Flanders

    The Foresters of Flanders

    During the Great War the demand for timber for the front line exceeded at one stage 50,000 tonnes a month.  But where on earth could this amount of timber be sourced and who would be capable of felling that many trees?

    In WW1 over 35,000 men served in the Canadian Forestry Corps; recruited from the millions of acres of Canadian wilderness, these were physically tough men who thrived on the backbreaking work of lumberjacking. In this episode we look at a little-known aspect of the war, but one which was utterly vital to the wider war effort.

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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Bunkers and bards - Boesinghe to Ypres

    Bunkers and bards - Boesinghe to Ypres

    In today's episode, we travel the Ypres salient from Boesinghe to Ypres and visit some of the many cemeteries and memorials that dot this part of the battlefield.

    We begin at the Ziegler Bunker and one of the finest bunkers left on the Western Front before continuing to a roadside memorial bedecked with the tricolor of Ireland, and hear the sad tale of one of Ireland's finest poets.  Our journey continues taking in demarcation stones and memorials before we had back toward Ypres and pay a visit to Talana Farm cemetery.  We stop at Duhallow ADS cemetery and here the story of a tragic incident for men of the Labour Corps and discover the story of Private Seymour who was shot dawn for desertion.
     
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    The most dangerous man I ever knew.

    The most dangerous man I ever knew.

    Our latest podcast begins at the Guards Grave in the Retz Forest near the village of Villers Cotteret on the Aisne battlefield.  It contains the graves of 98 men of the Guards Brigade who fought one of the most remarkable rear-guard actions of the Great War near this spot on the 1st of September 1914. 

    We meet the eccentric and dangerous-to-know Irish Guards officer Lt Aubrey Herbert.  A loose cannon with a volcanic temper, Herbert was almost blind, but despite this, he proved to be a capable officer.  Opinionated, argumentative, and dangerous to know, Herbert successfully delivered a vital message that allowed reinforcements to be rushed up into the forest to help rescue the beleaguered Guards Division.

    We also discover the story behind one of the most impressive private memorials anywhere on the Western Front, and the remarkable perseverance of a formidable woman, desperate to find out what happened to her only son. 

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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Mazengarbe - a journey through a cemetery

    Mazengarbe - a journey through a cemetery

    In today's episode, we visit the communal cemetery and extension at Mazengarbe on the Loos battlefield and discover the stories of some of the men who lie buried within.

    We begin by reminiscing on an encounter in a cemetery on All Souls Day, hear the story of a Scottish VC winner who performed two remarkable acts of heroism on the battlefield at Hill 70, and meet one of the lesser-known poets of the Great War, the idealistic Canadian Bernard Trotter.  We meet a man of the cloth who was awarded a Military Cross for bravery, hear the stories of some of the men who were shot at dawn and lie buried in the cemetery, and discover how the Mayor of Laventie and a parish priest ended up brawling in a British dugout, having tried to take on the Germans single-handed armed only with a bottle of eau de vie and stolen British rifle.

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    • 59 min
    Mount Sorrel

    Mount Sorrel

    In this episode, we travel to Flanders and look at the fighting of June 1916 for Hill 62, or Mount Sorrel as it was known.  Standing on the top of the ridge today overlooking Sanctuary Wood is a Canadian Memorial and this is a battlefield always associated with the soldiers of Canada.

    We begin at Hooge Crater Cemetery and hear the story of two remarkable VC winners, before we move to Hill 62 and examine the ebb and flow of the fighting in June 1916.  We hear the remarkable story of the Colour of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, hear about the unfortunate fate of the 3rd Canadian Divison commander, and meet Colonel Buller, whose foresight and determination helped prevent a German breakthrough.  We hear about the encounter between a Canadian heavyweight boxer and a German officer and look at the deserved reputation gained by Canada's soldiers during the fighting. 

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    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
22 Ratings

22 Ratings

A_l_a_n_F ,

Excellent Podcast on the Great War

I thoroughly enjoy this podcast by Matt Dixon. Matt is passionate about the topic and I’ve learned so much from him. He has the ability to really connect with his listeners and his topic selections are creative and thought provoking. Listen to this podcast if you are the least bit interested in the Great War.

brion brigman ,

1915

Great podcast. I love that he does a lot on the battles of 1915 an oft forgotten year in the Great War minus Gallipoli. Thanks for providing the content

greed freedy ūü•Ķ ,

Dissatisfied

Just not good enough

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