• Pardon the dust while the boys rebuild the site.

    The board will be in a state of disarray as I get things sorted out, for a little while at least.

    The new incarnation is using Xenforo as the system software. It is much like what we are used to, with a few differences. I will see about making a FAQ to help point out the differences for the members.


    One IMPORTANT difference for all of us old timers is that the 'mail' system is replaced with what are called 'conversations'/

    There is no 'Inbox' or 'Out box' or 'Sent' folders anymore.

    Think of Conversations as private 'threads' or topics that don't exist in a forum, that you start with another member. NOTE: Conversations can include more than one member if you or someone else in the conversaion, likes.
    Takes a little getting used to but I am sure you all can get a hang of it.


    Only a slightly modified default default Xenforo style is available for now. Once the new SAG style is ready it will be available.

    All existing users should be able to login with their usernames and passwords once the site goes up.


    If anyone has difficulties logging in please contact me at sixthvanguard@gmail.com.


    Thank you for your support and patience. I know it has been a loooong road.

Tommies from the Somme Battles

Tony Barton

Company Commander
As my recovery progresses, I’ve now had the energy to get the trench set out and take some more pics.

Here’s a few more pics on the same theme. Two more of the Northampton’s bomber, this time showing his “ Battle Patches “ and bomber’s badge , and the grenade vest hung on a convenient peg while he checks the fusing and fit of the safety pins. He’ll be doing this alone : grenades were tricky things, and caused a lot of accidents until the design was improved from 1917.


Another Somme soldier, this time from the 5th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, recruited in Birmingham. He’s a Territorial, which means that he was a part-time soldier pre-war. When war came, the Territorials , although they were formed for home defence, largely voted to serve overseas , and were deployed from the end of 1914 to fill the gaps in the Line caused by the losses of the Regular Divisions. Although most Territorials used the 1908 webbing set , as replacements were sent out many had to be equipped with the 1914 leather equipment. He has very colourful patches , including blue shoulder straps and red rectangles on the shoulders and on the rear of the helmet.Notice the brass Shoulder Titles ( I’m very pleased to have got those done in etched brass: if they can do the word “ Warwickshire” in this scale,they can do anything ! ).The sandbag helmet cover was very common, almost regulation in many units. This unit later served in Macedonia.


Another Territorial, this time from my local lads : the 5th Battalion Prince of Wales’ Own West Yorkshire Regiment , recruited in York. They first went out to France in April 1915, and stayed out to the Armistice. They were in 146 Brigade, alongside their fellow West Yorks Battalions ( 1/6 Bradford , 1/7 Leeds , 1/8 Leeds ) in the 49th Territorial Division, whose role was in support at the start of the battle. On the 28th July they were involved in attacking the infamous Schwaben Redoubt.
This young lad ( my underage soldier Fred ) is equipped absolutely typically. The helmet is muddied up to make the apple green paint less conspicuous.

“ Anyone want bully as a swap for McConochies ? “

The soldiers lived on bully beef and biscuits, but some branded tins were more sought after than others.....

Another , drinking tea. The Unit patch was the T on the sleeve , coloured differently for each Battalion .

And finally , with the company officer doing his rounds. He’s a 2nd Lieutenant, and I have done another post on him to discuss all the details. Suffice it to say that officers’ outfits were rather different from the men’s, although they tried increasingly to blend in , at least in the frontline , as the war progressed.Their survival chances were always worse than the men’s , throughout the war, so wearing
ORs uniforms and carrying rifles was often normal when going into attacks.

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Top notch work on both figures, Tony!

I especially like their trench diorama.

Well done and a fitting tribute!


P.S. I hope you are able to add to the thread! I always enjoy seeing your work!
I hope someday you get the chance to add to these two absolute beauties!
Always great to see one of your superb offerings!

Excellent renditions and great to see some WW1 figures on the site (I don't think I've seen any...is this the first...???). Given the recent commemorations of the famous battle, it's a very timely display and the trench diorama really adds to them...do you intend to 'muddy' up the figures/trenches...???. Thanks for sharing, Steve
Thanks everyone. I confess that the first figure was done about six years back , and the second only finished last year. I'm not well enough yet to set up the trench diorama pieces (post-op recovery ) but I thought it worth putting up the pics to commemorate the anniversary.

One remark about mud : yes, they are rather too clean, but the cliche that WW1 happened entirely in knee deep mud needs challenging .Midsummers in northern France can be quite dry. The 1st of July 1916 was dry and warm , and it stayed that way for some time, and there was no mud . So soldiers moving up from reserve into the frontline for the big attack would have been fairly clean.
That changed later , of course, when the weather broke. Incidentally the Somme uplands are chalk, which makes the dust and mud a very pale grey, rather than tan . My scenic pieces were originally made to represent Flanders in the early summer of 1915 , so are the wrong colour !
I always enjoy seeing the work you do, as well as the bit of history that goes along with them.
Ditto. The scholarship is always welcome and interesting. The figures are always "Museum Quality", literally.
I agree very nice.... one thing about the grenades... you had to straighten the pin ends so they could be pulled. The way the grenades came was with the ends of the pins folded over to prevent then from being accidentally pulled. You couldn't pull the pins without being straightened out first.
Very nicely done, Tony. I like the last photo the most - all three in the trench.

Very glad you've been able to revisit this thread and add to it - in both figures and history.