29th April 16 – The History of Palestine by Brigadier(rtd) J Deverell

If Middle East History is your thing or you are just interested, then come along to the Wincanton Memorial Hall on 29th April 2016.

Brigadier (retired) John Deverell CBE MPhil(Cantab) is giving a talk on “ The History of Palestine”.

With 10 years’ experience in the Middle East as an army Officer,  a diplomat, and  as a businessman, Brigadier Deverell will talk about his experience of this most topical and complex region

He has enjoyed postings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem and Yemen.

In Iraq he was instrumental in disproving the pre-war intelligence on the weapons of mass destruction WMD) as the senior British officer in the Iraq Survey Group. He presented his findings on the TV programme Panorama.

In Libya he advised the Gaddafi regime on how they would benefit from giving up their WMD programmes.

In Yemen his work with local officials helped avoid war in the wake of 9/11.

In the Palestinian Territories he was the only British government servant to live and work full time.  He was at the forefront of US and British efforts to reform the Palestinian security sector as a basis for a Two-State Solution. In this role John worked alongside Quartet Representative Tony Blair and General Jim Jones, thereafter the U.S. National Security Adviser.

John has spent time in almost every Middle Eastern country and, since leaving the Army, continues to work in the region – most recently in Lebanon.

He now runs Deverell Associates, working with commercial companies to advise them on Enterprise Risk Management and crisis management at home and abroad. He summarises his work as being about “the Prepared Mind”.

The talk is at 7.30 PM. Cost; Non-Members £5 Members £2 

The Sinking of the Lancastria. Friday 27th November 2015 a talk by Major David Glossop BEM

The sinking of the Lancastra off St Nazaire in June 1940Certainly most of us had not heard of the Lancastria before, but the story David Glossop had to tell was a sad and shocking tragedy, a catastrophe which has been largely forgotten. It involved the greatest ever loss of life in the sinking of a single British ship, claiming more lives than the combined losses of the RMS Titanic (1,517 passengers and crew) and RMS Lusitania (1,198 passengers). It had also the highest death toll for UK forces in a single engagement in the whole of World War II. Continue reading

Wincanton’s Lost Hero. Alberto Bioletti. John Baxter

IMG_1338sepiaRED25th Sept. 2015. John Baxter gave an illustrated talk entitled : Alberto Bioletti. The Italian Barber of Wincanton.  About this John writes: After months of research which has steadily become more exciting as more links in the story of Alberto Bioletti have emerged, I have become convinced that here is someone whose life and experience we really should celebrate as a hero of Wincanton. Continue reading