Friday, 8 June 2018


Staff Commander A.D. Mann, official spokesman for H.M.Government's "Warden of the Marches", Lord de Braose, today gave a press conference at the Shire Hall, Hereford. In attendance were a number of representatives of the international news agencies and a gentleman from "The Times".

The Shire Hall, Hereford. It was up these steps that the press representatives
climbed to listen to Staff Commander A.D.Mann's Press Conference within. The
Union Jack flies above, indicating that Hereford is still "proudly loyal" to
HM Edward VIII (copyright, BUF Press Bureau)
Staff Commander Mann cleared his throat and read a statement:

(1). HM Government wished to express their utmost admiration for the heroism of Captain James Barleycorn, Commander, 1st Wigmore LDV (temporarily attached), at the recent Battle of Wigmore Hall. Facing no less than three so-called Communist "armies" to the west flank of Wigmore Hall and consequently severely outnumbered, the 1st Wigmore LDV nevertheless defended their positions with "patriotic integrity" and "extreme tenacity", ignoring both offers of reserves and the prospect of a tactical retreat toward the Hall itself. HM Government desired to convey His Majesty's personal admiration of Captain Barleycorn's courageous stand against the King's enemies, represented not only by an immediate advance in his regular rank and the award of the Military Cross, but also the grant of a baronetcy. Henceforward, Captain Barleycorn was entitled to the name and style of "Major Sir James Barleycorn MC";   

[polite round of applause from assembled representatives of the press.
Mutters in various languages : "he's done well for himself, hasn't he?"/
"that's one right in the eye for Sir Barrington, sure enough"]

(2). Storm Commander Giles had now fully recovered from his wounds received at the Battle of Berrington Approaches. In recognition of his gallant conduct at the said Battle, together with his courage and tenacity at the subsequent Battle of Wigmore Hall, leading his troops by personal example while still very much "under the weather", HM Govt. was pleased to confirm his promotion to BUF Group Leader, his seniority being backdated to the commencement of the action at Berrington.

[further polite round of applause from assembled representatives of the press.
Stifled yawns in various languages : "Is this it?"]

(3). HM Govt "now regretted to confirm" that Major Strait-Jackett, equally gallant Government commander at the Battles of Berrington Approaches and Wigmore Hall, had indeed been 'severely injured' in the course of the latter battle and was presently undergoing 'a special course of treatment' for such injuries. No future date has as yet been fixed for the gallant Major's "return to duties", nor would further comment be made "at this time". 

[Stifled commotion within the press ranks. Muffled cries - in various
 languages - of "twister!"/"tell us the truth, why don't you!"/
"come on, we've all seen that photograph!"]

(4). HM Govt was "nevertheless pleased to confirm" the appointment of Lt. Richard Everard, former Assistant Equerry (Military) to Queen Wallis herself, as the acting replacement, with full command authority, for the late the said Major Strait-Jackett [aggressive shuffling within the press ranks]. A brief record of Lt. Everard's personal background and previous service to the Crown [hoots of derision] was immediately to be made available:

"Lt. Richard Everard. Charterhouse and Sandhurst. After obtaining his commission, Lt. Everard was posted to India where his first action was to take part in the hunt for the Chittagong Armoury raiders. Serving with the 14th Field Company, he was then involved in suppressing the Saya San Rebellion in Burma in 1932, before being posted to Palestine, where he fought with the Royal Scots Fusiliers at the Battle of Anabta in June 1936. Upon the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Lt. Everard resigned his commission to serve with the Carlist Requetes fighting in support of the Nationalist cause, and was awarded the Cross of Military Merit by General Franco. Lt. Everard returned to this country after the "present troubles" began, immediately resumed his commission and was shortly thereafter appointed Assistant Equerry to the Queen. Personal : Lt. Everard
happens to be related to the late the said Major Strait-Jackett, whose mother was the sister
of the late Deidre Warming-Knightley, grandmother to Lt. Everard. Clubs : East India. Polo Club."

[outbreak of derisive laughter - in various languages - from the assembled
press corps. Cries of "what d'you take us for ?" "we all know he got too
close to the Queen, come on!" "We've been to the embassy parties!". Loud
comment from the foreign editor of Le Matin : "C'est petit "Richard", le 
favorit 'frou-frou' de la Reigne de Bretagne!" Immediate demands from the
the monolingual representatives of the "Nishinippon Shimbun" and the
"Frankfurter Zeitung" for a translation of 'le petit frou frou"..

Staff Commander Mann responds uncertainly to the anger of the international press corps.
Perhaps such uncertainty is the explanation for what happened next...
(5). The announcement of Lt. Everard's appointment concludes the Press Conference. There being no further business.....

"Nonsense!" "What about Arrowsmith then, hmmm?"
"Where's the gold reserves, Staff Commander?
Tell us why the King's sending Everard to the front !
What on earth is a frou-frou?

As the Press Conference dissolved into unexpected chaos and a scatter of loud insults, Monsignor Alfredo Borgia, the "news delegate" of "L'Osservatore Romano"/"Vatican News" rose portentously to his feet, shouting first in English:

"I ACCUSE this Government of an offence against the laws of God and Nature!
I accuse this Government of hiding the truth!
I accuse your Leader and his minions of 
chopping and stitching and re-animating 
the exploded corpse of Major Strait-Jackett!
I accuse you all of consorting with

and then switching into French, outstretched finger pointing directly at the already befuddled Staff Commander:


[Sudden silence. General horror in various languages.]

In the years to come, notwithstanding the many hundreds of volumes of history and biography dealing with the Hereford VBCW on the library bookshelves, none could quite explain the immediate reaction of Staff Commander A.D.Mann:

A surprising admission - was it really an admission? - from the Government Press Spokesman.
The incident will be argued about for years to come.
PS. With many thanks to Alan for Lt. Everard's CV and "social history".

Tuesday, 5 June 2018


Gossip, rumour, small talk, chatter, scandal; call it what you will. Hard by the Old House in High Town, amidst the nodding cloche hats and polite chink of teacups, Hereford's City & County Dining & Refreshment Rooms remains the "central exchange" of intelligence in the County's VBCW. But what is hard information and what mere gossip? Perhaps only the most seasoned intelligence agents can tell - and there are said to be plenty of such types (of all factions and interests) crammed into our packed and chintz lined tearoom. But part the fronds of that aspidistra, peer through the haze of cigarette smoke, and listen in....

(1). News from the capital - yet another censorship crackdown! HM Government are hunting for the secret printing presses of "Private Parts" magazine and the person of its elusive editor, Mr William Tell. It is said that the special ire of the Government's Chief Censor has been aroused by reports that the magazine has finally obtained full colour photographic proof of Major Strait-Jackett's "course of treatment" in Woolwich following his "explosive end" at the Battle of Wigmore Hall (blogposts passim):

The stitched together remains of Major Strait-Jackett on the operating table at the Special Hospital for Investigation of Trauma, Woolwich. (photo: courtesy "Private Parts" Magazine)
(2). Speaking of printing presses: Colonel Mustard's Memoirs have been published in their full and unexpurgated (i.e. fully illustrated) version within the Liverpool Free State! Well, I never! Copies are bound to be circulating in Herefordshire soon! So that's why we haven't seen Daphne Parker - Boales of late! Any why Lady Edie Minty-Batton couldn't preside at the Flower Show! For all that to be dragged up again by those ghastly Reds, and after all that dear, darling Lady de Braose has suffered....

(3). We shouldn't worry so about Lady de Braose, you know. She's sworn to repair her social disgrace by avenging herself on Comrade Professor Winters - and any snivelling Commie fellow-traveller that dare to stand in her way. Some say that Winters quite "lost his head" when he ordered publication of Mustard's memoirs. Well, Lady de Braose has armed herself with an antique Japanese sword and publicly announced that : "I won't be satisfied until I've taken that head myself"! It was in "The Hereford Times" last week, didn't you see? "A Blow for Womens' Emancipation" - rather a double edged headline, I thought. Much like that Japanese sword, so I hear. And so typical - his mother gave him a nice Christian name like William and now he prefers the proletarian "Bill"! Huh!

(4). And speaking of heads...who would have thought that CBS's Borneo correspondent would have "faked up" that Arrowsmith story! The gall of the man! And there's nothing in all those rumours about the ROF Rotherwas explosion either; no, not at all. Everyone knows that Captain Arrowsmith made off with the reserves of the Bank of England, and buried what he couldn't carry. Handed over all those bearer bonds to the German Chancellor personally, so he did, in exchange for a position within the Reich "commensurate with his talents"! Well, of course, he should have been so much more careful with his negotiations:

Captain Arrowsmith's first English edition of "Nazi Caravan (incorporating Extreme Right Wing Motorhome)"
It can safely be assumed that the former "Colossus of the Herefordshire Far Right" had greater aspirations than a
 second career, based in a suburb of Munich, as a humble translator of Aryan "lifestyle magazines". Sic transit...
(5). Of course it's true. Why, it's said that the Inland Revenue is sequestrating Arrowsmith's assets even as we speak: HM Government is determined to make some kind of recovery! And the King himself is flying to Madresfield at weekends, joining in the hunt for all those gold bars that Arrowsmith is said to have buried somewhere within the Three Counties!

(6). Do you think it's been raining so hard in Munich? We've never known weather like it here in Hereford. Why, the Wye is now so high it's threatening to break it's banks....

(7). So that's why Stokkies Joubert has finally vacated "The Nelson Suite" at the City Arms Hotel! Aunt Agatha heard him say that he was "going on commando again" (although it's quite possible that she misheard, and that Stokkies simply announced that he was "going commando again"). Apparently he and his men are patrolling the the right bank of the Wye all the way from Hereford to Hay....d'you think they are on some kind of flood watch?

(8). Speaking of absentees - following his unexplained disappearance, Captain Arrowsmith's friends and allies are in deepest disgrace! His Chief Scientific Adviser, that notorious Whitechapel scientific tinkerer and hopeless cider addict, Professor Dave Ross (pronounced, in a Herefordshire burr, as plain "Davros") has been banished from Hereford and incarcerated on an island in the middle of Bodenham Lake! There, Viscount Hereford will be able to keep an eye on him from his breakfast table at Hampton Court!

Hopelessly tainted by his association with the absent Captain Arrowsmith and showing all the signs
 of advanced cider addiction, Professor Dave Ross has fallen from His Majesty's grace. After their
 unexpected introduction at the Battle of Bredwardine Bridge and the subsequent copyright
 infringement action by Lord Reith's BBC lawyers, his plans for more 
"independent armoured pepperpots" may now never be realised.
(9). Well, Professor Ross' plans may be one thing, but have you heard about Sir Gilbert recruiting natives? Well, I never! Whatever next! There has certainly been some strange goings-on within the Golden Valley of late! D'you think they've done some kind of rain-dance? Anyway, he can't be himself, poor man, what with all those worries about his relative, Superintendent Ronald Bigsworth-Hill, so cruelly abandoned to his fate by Sir Barrington Patchpole KC's sudden alliance with HM Government and the BUF (blogposts passim).

(10). I hear that dear, dear Sir Gilbert has convened a meeting of his allies at Goodrich Castle. D'you think he's planning a rescue mission for poor Superintendent Bigsworth-Hill? All the senior Anglican commanders are said to be travelling to Goodrich right now....



Sunday, 22 April 2018


The Bishops Broadcasting Service carries a soon to be published special investigation report upon Major Straitt-Jackett.....After being "exploded" by a round from Ronald Bigsworth-Hill's artillery piece at the Battle of Wigmore, is the well known Major dead, decidedly dead, really dead, very very dead, or - oh, oh my God, it's ALIVE ! ALIVE! I tell you...

with thanks to Alan for the correspondence and special report.


Sir Gilbert Hill, well known leader of the Golden Valley Invincibles, has used his criminal empire extensive international trading and business links to raise some new troops, the Hill Enterprises (Dominions and Colonial) Loyal Volunteers Section, lead by Chief Kansan O'Flynn. Their famous cooking pot, as publicly reserved for Stokkies Joubert and the like, has yet to be seen; but the new Section's parade past Sir Gilbert and his loyal HQ staff may be found HERE. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018


Another short post to point our worldwide readership to this post by Panzerkaput, a complete pre-prepared scenario and "communal" game in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the VBCW. In order to feed in your result to "central command", the scenario will need to be played and the result submitted by early May 2018. And if you've enjoyed Panzerkaput's post, you might want to pop over to his blog and check out the VBCW history of Leicester....


Just the shortest post to draw our many followers' attention to the continuing post action exchanges of fire between some of the former (and future) warring parties in the Hereford!!

Wednesday, 28 March 2018


New Tank Rules from TooFatLardies
A slight intermission between Spring BIG GAME 2018 blog posts. TooFatLardies have announced a new set of rules for tank combat, which can be used with 28mm tanks on our size of tables. Now, everyone loves tanks (or we should say, most people love tanks and some love them more than most) and Roo and Clive are considering using this set as a "pick up game" for early arrivals/late attenders on BIG GAME days, or perhaps more plausibly as one of the short games in a "VBCW Pulpathon" for Summer Manoeuvres (2019). 

There is an Advance Order page HERE, on the TwoFatLardies website. The offer, which appears to give you a substantial discount off the intended market price, seems to be open until April 8th, the date preceding full publication. Lardies rules are usually well-designed and fun while maintaining realism, so it could be an excellent Easter investment for the tank-minded.

PS. The Hereford 1938 Campaign obviously has no commercial (or other) connection with the TooFatLardies, nor any other commercial connection with any business enterprise trading post 1938. No warnings as to investments going up or down are necessary, as the Advertising Standards Agency has yet to be invented. For the same reason, it is not necessary to undertake a risk assessment, still less provide a "safe space" for the purpose of reading these rules in the event of purchase (no warranties given, proceed at your own risk as usual, trespassers are usually shot. At very best.)