I thought 2014 would be hard to beat. I was privileged to play a small role in many of the commemorations of that remarkable year. I was standing a few yards from Queen Elizabeth in Bayeux cemetery during the service to mark the 70th anniversary of D-day.
I will never forget the sights after the formal ceremony when the veterans swamped her and she moved through the press of grey haired 90 year olds in a bright, almost fluorescent dress, chatting to the men who stormed ashore on that morning, 70 years before.
I also acted as Master of Ceremony in St Symphorien cememtary outside Mons, Belgium for the international event to mark the outbreak of WW1. The sunset turned the western horizon blood red, it was truly dramatic timing on nature’s part!
2015 will probably top it though. The end of the American Civil War and the end of WW2 will both be commemorated. I hope to be at events to mark both. The WW1 anniversaries continue with the centenary of Gallipoli and the other, terrible forgotten battles of 1915.
I will be spending a lot of time on WW1 battlefields, and I’ll definitely let you know how it goes. We’ve got Waterloo in June. I’ve written a book for the 200th anniversary and I’ll be at the massive reenactment on the field of battle. Two hugely important WW2 battles will have their 75th anniversaries, Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. The number of fighter pilots left alive is tiny, this will be our last chance to pay our respects to the living remnant of ‘The Few’.
Towards the end of the year there will be a chance to blow the dust off my medieval history as the Battle of Agincourt has its 600th anniversary. I am hoping to conduct some big experiments into the impact of massed ranks of longbowmen. English and Welsh longbows were vital to that bloody victory.
As well as all that I’ll be following in the footsteps of Vikings, travelling around india and one or two other things. I will be posting pictures and videos right here, and also on my own Facebook page, Dan Snow History Hit.
If you are fascinated by military history, 2015 will be a massive year – check out the app below to see why.
Timeline World War 1 is a multimedia history of the First World War, presented by historian and TV presenter Dan Snow, in association with British Pathe. Content covering the events of 1914 is available for free within the app, with further years available to view via in-app purchase. Download here iTunes