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The late David O’Mara’s interests spanned back further than he could remember, it is quite possible that his (almost) life-long study of subjects around the First World War stemed from his receipt of one of the first editions of Rose Coomb’s ‘Before Endeavours Fade’ for a birthday present prior to a family holiday to the Ypres Salient in the late 1970s. This first trip to a Western Front battlefield only encouraged a vivacious hunger for hundred more trips – with his parents at first, and then alone or with friends before travelling with his own family – ensued over the following decades. Over the years, David visited the whole length of the Western Front several times over. Though interested in most aspects of the First World War, reading Blaise Cendrar’s ‘The Severed Hand’ at a young age encouraged an interest in the French side and David specialised in this study for many years, with the main focus of his battlefield visits for the past couple of decades being to the French sectors. David originally joined Western Front Association in 1983 and became the founding member and first chairman of the East Lancashire Branch in 2008. Since 2010, he had been the official research partner for the Western Front Association's ‘Remembered: On this Day’ project. David's interests also moved to the French army and their areas of operations and he built up a considerable resource of histories and illustrations on it. He explored and walked miles of the French front, from the North Sea to the Swiss border. With extensive knowledge of both the major allied armies, combined with his knowledge of the ground and ability to work with German sources, he was the ideal person to write about the French Somme, a part of the story of that terrible battlefield that had previously been largely neglected.