David Bardell

Location: Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
About the Speaker...

Having retired from a career in IT and Business Project Management, continued to build up a strong knowledge and interest in Military History.
Working with a friend, Mick Byrne, we have developed a compelling passion for WWI history. We have visited Belgium/France for several years to research our WWI and WWII interests.
We’d like to share our stories with Groups. It is the background and stories of the Events which receives our (and hopefully your) attention.

About the Talks...

The talks last between 45 minutes and one hour. We bring our own equipment – laptop, projector, screen, speaker, voice amplifier.


We charge £70 plus travel expenses at 45p per mile.  We operate in and around the areas of West Midlands, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire and anywhere else within 60 miles of home.

My Contact Details:

07889 716291

The Falklands Conflict - NEW FOR 2022

2022 sees the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict. Our story looks at the reasons why Argentina chose to invade the Falklands in 1982 and all the political wrangling behind the scenes to avert the conflict.
The Falklands War is the last conflict since WW2 to see all the branches of our Armed Forces in action together.

We chart the British Task Force, their victories and losses, the incredible acts of valour by our service personnel including two Victoria Cross recipients.

Concluding with the eventual recovery of the Falklands Islands.

The Great War - Shot at Dawn

Between 1914 and 1920, more than 3,000 British soldiers were sentenced to death by courts martial for desertion, cowardice, striking an officer, disobedience, falling asleep on duty or casting away arms.

However, only 346 were actually executed with 37 of these having committed capital crimes such as murder. The remaining 309 become the centrepiece of our Talk.

We explain the Background to how these events unfolded; we pick out a handful of examples and tell their stories; we explain how they were finally pardoned after 90 years of disgrace to their families.

The Great War - Crimson Fields

This is the story of Nurses and Surgeons who served on the front line in the Great War 1914-1918.

We tell the compelling stories of a number of these Heroines and Heroes, such as Edith Cavell, Nellie Spindler, Noel Chavasse and John McCrae.

We talk about QAIMNS, VAD and FANY nurses.

Also, the treatments and procedures developed by these extraordinary individuals and how they pioneered the direction of the whole medical profession today.

The Great War - Land, Sea and Air

Land, Sea & Air tells the story of how our Army, Navy and Air Force eventually beat the Germans in WWI after over four years of fighting.
We will chart the highs and lows, victories and losses, acts of valour of these brave servicemen and women of WWI.
Including the Royal Navy victory at the battle of Jutland 1916, the Army’s battles in Gallipoli 1915, the battle of the Somme 1916, the battle of Passchendaele 1917, and the development and importance of the Tank.
How the Royal Flying Corps played an important role in WW1 and the formation of the Royal Air Force in 1918.

The Great War - The Unknown Warrior

This talk tells the story of Remembrance and Comradeship in the Great War.

We start with the Christmas Truce of 1914 through to friendships made at Toc H from 1915.

The amazing story of how the poppy became a symbol of Remembrance;

The creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC); and we recount the true story of the only woman buried at Lijssenthoek Cemetery along with 10,000 men.

We look at The Menin Gate, Tyne Cot and Thiepval for those with no known grave and then we finish with the moving story of The Unknown Warrior.

Warriors All

Acts of valour by men and animals since The Great War.

This talk tells the stories of both Men and Animals, their devotion to duty, amazing stories of bravery and selflessness. Both Men and Animals showed they were Fearless, Relentless, Diligent and Resolute.  We will tell stories of VC recipients spanning from WW1 to the present day and about Animals awarded the Dickin Medal over the same time period.

The Victoria Cross has only been awarded 1,358 times since its inception in 1856.

The Dickin Medal, regarded as the VC for Animals, has been awarded 71 times since its creation in 1943.

VE Day

Although VE Day is the 8 May 1945, the road to VE Day started on 1st September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland.
Our talk will remember some of the key events during WW2, through some of the highs and lows, victories and losses.
We will be remembering all the celebrations held up and down the country in the form of street parties which would always inevitably include that great British tradition of tea drinking. We have been a nation of tea drinkers since the reign of Queen Victoria in the 19th century – a good cuppa will always give you a lift.

So, as part of the Talk we will add some interesting tea facts.


The Forgotten Army

This is the story of the 14th Army commanded by General Bill Slim in World War 2 in Burma, who eventually defeated the Japanese Imperial Army on the 15 August 1945; now referred to as VJ Day.

We tell stories of the journey to VJ Day, from the fall of Singapore in February 1942 and the construction of the Burma and Sumatra railways, to the creation of the Chindits, and the dropping of the Atomic Bombs leading to the surrender of the Japanese Imperial Army.

Video Introduction Preview


Mick Byrne and David Bardell paid a second visit to Burntwood Family History Group when they presented their talk “The Crimson Fields” to our November meeting. As with their previous talk “Shot at Dawn”, Mick and David showed how thoroughly they had researched the stories and the, often unsung, heroes they wove together in their excellent presentation. Their use of a wide range of media really added to the poignancy of the evening, especially so given the harrowing nature of the content. It was a very special evening and our members were universal in their praise for the talk. Little wonder that we have already booked them for a return in 2022.

Chris Graddon
Crimson Fields – Burntwood Family History Group on 8th November 2021


Mick and David were very professional from the booking stage and throughout the presentation. They arrived with all the equipment needed and with plenty of time to set up . The presentation they delivered was `Warriors All` It had been well researched and was very informative with some nice personal touches. It kept the members attention and nobody got their knitting out. Always a good sign at our club that they were enjoying the morning.

Jan Mayhew
Warriors All – Hadley Five-O on 1st November 2021


I think you could tell that we all enjoyed your presentation on 10th October. It was clear that both you and Mick have done some extensive research and it’s so good to share that knowledge. I will certainly contact you for next year so that we can hear the next chapter.

Caroline Stubbs
Shot At Dawn – Sutton Coldfield Civic Society on 10th October 2019.



After many cancellations due to Covid we finally had the privilege of meeting David and Mick and hear their presentation, ‘Shot at Dawn’. Everyone was fully captivated hearing all the facts and details shared and the obvious extensive research that had taken place. Thank you for starting the session with the Act of Remembrance which was thoroughly appreciated by all those present as it was the 11th November and led us beautifully into a very thought provoking session. We look forward to welcoming you back again next year to hear more of your talks.


David Bardell Contact Details:

07889 716291

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