World War I
Epitaphs of the Great War: The Somme
‘Of all the voices of the First World War there is one that has been consistently overlooked, the voice of the bereaved.’ This collection of 100 epitaphs for soldiers who died during the Somme campaign of 1916 lets the bereaved families and friends speak through the inscriptions on War Graves Commission headstones. The book provides information on the soldiers and explains any biblical or literary allusions used in the short (they were limited to 66 characters) and often cryptic epitaphs.
The History of the War in the Air
Based on the records of the Air Ministry, along with eyewitness accounts of military and naval officers, this is the first volume of Professor Raleigh's great history of the British air forces' contribution to the First World War. Written in 1922, it remains one of the most important accounts of early aerial warfare and the formation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Naval Air Service. Tragically, Raleigh did not live to write volume two. Eyewitnesses from the Great War series.
A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance & Redemption
Long before the corn poppy became associated with remembrance of the First World War through John McCrae's poem 'In Flanders Fields', it had grown wherever ground was broken by conflict, cultivation or burial. The opium poppy has a different affinity with war, alleviating the suffering of its victims and inciting battles over its control. This book explores the iconic plant, its uses and associations from the remedies of the Ancient Egyptians to the narcotics trade in present-day Afghanistan.
Letters From A Flying Officer
In this 1928 account of a pilot in the First World War, the letters and diaries of Flying Officer Michael John Enderby and the comments of Group Captain Merrivale are ostensibly fiction. They are in fact closely based on the experiences of the author and offer an insight into the workings of the Royal Flying Corps, with descriptions of real combat events and observations on the development of aviation technology and the tactics of aerial combat during the war.
And the Birth of The Aircraft Carrier, 1914-1918
The Royal Flying Corps accommodated military and naval aviation units under one banner in 1912, but the particular problems of flying in support of ships instigated the formation of the Royal Naval Air Service as a separate unit by the beginning of the First World War. This book traces the development of naval aviation during the course of the war, from 'floatplanes' on converted steamers to squadrons of 20 or more adapted fighters flying from the first true aircraft carriers.
The Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel: Tommies, Diggers
and Doughboys on the Hindenburg Line, 1918
The Bellicourt Tunnel is a 3.5-mile underground stretch of the canal that connects the cities of Cambrai and St Quentin. In 1918 it formed a part of the German defensive Hindenburg Line and the battles that took place in the vicinity played an important part in Germany's ultimate defeat. This detailed history examines the roles of the British, Australian and American troops in the fighting and assesses the performance of Field Marshal Haig and other senior commanders in the field.
We Are the Dead
Poems and Paintings from the Great War, 1914-1918
'My friend, you would not tell with such high zest/ To children ardent for some desperate glory,/ The old lie; Dulce et Decorum est/ Pro patria mori.' The response of Wilfred Owen to the war around him is just one of the many poems by British, Irish, Australian, Canadian, French and German writers in this evocative anthology. The poems' themes are echoed in paintings by artists including Paul Nash, John Singer Sargent, Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. With an introduction and biographical notes on the poets and artists.
To Fight Alongside Friends
The First World War Diary of Charlie May
From the day in November 1915 when he left for France until a few hours before he died on the first day of the Somme, Captain May of the Manchester Pals secretly filled seven pocket books with a diary for his wife, in which he vividly recorded his moments of terror and anticipation, friendship and frustration in the trenches. May's great-nephew has edited the complete diary and the family correspondence that followed his death.
From Battlefield to Blighty, 1914-1918
The call 'bearers up' that brought the stretcher carriers into the front line was the last thing a soldier heard in the trenches of the First World War before the command to attack. This account of medical care on the Western Front draws on eyewitness testimony to tell the stories of stretcher bearers, medical officers, surgeons, chaplains, orderlies and nurses and describes how they dealt with the overwhelming number of casualties and the horrific injuries.
Scottish Voices from the Great War
During the course of the First World War, Scotland provided nearly 700,000 recruits, responding so enthusiastically to Kitchener's call in 1914 that, according to one soldier's report, they were ready to give 'false names, false addresses, false ages' to enlist. Using first-hand accounts from letters and diaries, and original photographs, this book examines the experiences of soldiers in the Scottish regiments, from recruitment and training to life in France and the misery of the trenches.
The Courage of Cowards
The Untold Stories of First World War Conscientious Objectors
There had never been conscription in Britain until the Military Service Act of January 1916, which stipulated that all men between the ages of 18 and 40 were 'deemed to have enlisted for the period of the war'. Using memoirs, letters and official documents this book explores the experiences of conscientious objectors during the First World War, from their conflicts with the system and ostracization by society to service in the Friends Ambulance Unit and the Non-Combatant Corps.
British Pill Boxes and Bunkers 1914-1918
The first recorded British concrete machine gun post, concrete dugout or emplacement was constructed in August 1914 and the Army rapidly developed their expertise in this type of fortification throughout the course of the war. This book outlines the development of these pill boxes, as some designs came to be known, and examines all the structures still in existence in France and Belgium today, with photographs, GPS coordinates and maps showing how they fitted into contemporary defensive systems.
With the Tanks 1916-1918
Memoirs of a British Tank Commander in the Great War
Oxford graduate William Watson spent the early years of the First World War as a motorcycle despatch rider, but seeing how warfare might develop in the future, transferred to the Heavy Branch of the Machine Gun Corps to train on the latest military innovation: tanks. This memoir, first published in 1920, is an important first-hand account of the early development and use of tanks, particularly at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917, the first time they were used en masse.
Gallipoli and the Dardanelles 1915-1916
Despatches from the Front
Initially a naval operation to secure the Dardanelles sea route to Russia from the Mediterranean, the Gallipoli campaign soon escalated to a lengthy and attritional land battle. The result was a humiliating defeat for Britain, which led to the ousting of First Sea Lord Winston Churchill and a change of government. This book reproduces the original despatches from Admirals Sackville Carden and John de Robeck and land commanders Ian Hamilton and his replacement Charles Monro.
Letters from the Trenches
A Soldier of the Great War
Harry Lamin was conscripted into the Army in late 1916 and fought in the infantry in France and Italy until the end of the First World War. His grandson Bill put his wartime letters online in blog format (http://wwar1.blogspot.co.uk), which became an internet sensation and attracted a worldwide following. The correspondence is at the heart of this history of Harry's service, which was first published in 2009 and is illustrated with postcards, photographs and maps.
The Western Kennet Valley in the Great War
The massive intake of recruits into the British Army during the First World War meant that new depots were needed to train them. The downs of Berkshire and Wiltshire provided the ideal terrain, while soldiers could be billeted in the towns of Marlborough and Hungerford. Profusely illustrated with vintage photographs, this book celebrates the region's contribution to the war effort, and follows the fortunes of nine local men who went to fight in the 'war to end all wars'.
1918: End Game
The First World War in Photographs
Month by month, the authors use a collection of around 250 photographs and reproductions to follow events during the final year of war, from the arrival of American troops and guns in January to the German surrender in November. The final chapters examine many aspects of the immediate aftermath, including the battlefields where 'peace visitors' toured the devastation, the ongoing treatment of wounded men, and the funeral of the Unknown Soldier in London.
The Stockbrokers' Battalion in the Great War
A History of the 10th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers
Members of the London Stock Exchange from well-known families such as the Rothschilds served alongside clerks from City insurance, shipping and banking firms in the 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers during the First World War. This book uses personal diaries and letters as well as accounts written after the war to tell the story of this 'pals battalion', which was in action on the Somme, at Ypres and during the advance through France in the last months of the war.
Bloody Red Tabs
General Officer Casualties of the Great War 1914-1918
The prevailing 20th-century view of the First World War as fought by 'lions led by donkeys' has been subject to revision in recent decades and this book adds weight to the argument, exploding the myth of generals operating in distant safety while millions died in the trenches. The authors profile 78 British commanders who were killed and another 146 wounded while on active service, often in the front line, between 1914 and 1918. First published in 1995.
Of Those We Loved
A Great War Narrative Remembered and Illustrated
Dick Read (1895-1971) joined the Leicestershire Regiment as a Private at the outbreak of the First World War and made it through to the end, by which time he held a commission and had been awarded the Croix de Guerre. Written in the 1960s and first published in the 1990s, this thoughtful and detailed memoir charts the author's experiences at the battles of the Somme and the Marne, in Egypt and back in Flanders for the Final Advance in 1918.
A Doctor in the Great War
Andrew Davison tells the story of the 1st Cameronians, who achieved notoriety for selling the Great War's first front line photographs, and Fred Davidson, their 25-year-old medical officer, one of the first doctors to win the Military Cross. The book presents the photographs taken (despite the ban on cameras) by Fred and his fellow officers, to offer an unusually intimate portrait of life among the 'Old Contemptibles', from a parade ground in Glasgow to the brothels of Armentieres. Off-mint.
MI5 in the Great War
In 1921 MI5 commissioned a comprehensive report on the organization's operations during the First World War. Never intended for circulation outside of the government, this document has now been declassified and is published here for the first time. The main narrative examines the secret service's attempts to manage and detect double agents and the apprehension and execution of enemy spies, and also contains a review of German pre-war espionage and the endeavours of the Kaiser's personal agents to infiltrate British intelligence.
The German Air Force I Knew
Major Georg Paul Neumann was a former German Air Force officer who had served in the First World War, and produced his outstanding survey of Germany's air services in 1920. Drawing on his own and others' experiences, he compiled a full and accurate account of the force that began as the Imperial German Army Air Service in 1910 and ended the war as the Luftstreitkrafte. Translated by JE Gurdon; edited and introduced by Bob Carruthers. Eyewitnesses from the Great War series.
Europe Goes to War
A tangled web of international alliances fuelled the politics of 1914 and, when war broke out, confidence in decisive military action soon faded as a stalemate became established on the Western Front. Here bestselling author Max Hastings examines the political and military manoeuvres of 1914, using the accounts of leaders and generals as well as ordinary people, to assess how Europe was drawn into war and review the first few months of action. American-cut pages. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The First Blitz
Bombing London in the First World War
The military potential of aviation had not been explored until the First World War when London and other major cities were attacked by Zeppelins and, from 1917, Gotha and Staaken 'Giant' biplanes. This book examines the offensive and defensive strategies, the impact of each of the attacks and their legacy in defence planning for the next war. (Contains material first published in London 1914-17: The Zeppelin Menace and London 1917-18: The Bomber Blitz.)
Kitchener's New Army
Your Country Needs You!
In 1915 thriller writer Edgar Wallace (1875-1932) turned to patriotic non-fiction in this account of Lord Kitchener's recruitment drive and the accelerated training that produced the 'miracle' of his new divisions. Wallace's upbeat assessment reveals British attitudes towards the war in the months when a million volunteers were first swelling the country's army. Illustrated with contemporary photographs, cartoons and posters, this centenary edition features a new introduction giving the background to Kitchener's call for mobilization.
Marked for Death
The First War in the Air
Unreliable and flimsy aircraft and insufficient training added to the grave dangers of aerial combat during the First World War, leading to the deaths of 50,000 airmen. Beyond the glamorous reputation of the first 'aces', here the author of Empire of the Clouds (Postscript 11840 and 21782) examines the harsh reality of the pilots' struggle, and reveals how equipment and tactics developed rapidly so that by 1918 air power was recognized as imperative to any military strategy. Silk marker.
Four Years on the Western Front
Originally published under a pseudonym in 1922, this memoir of a private soldier in the London Rifle Brigade is closely based on the letters he sent home throughout the First World War, from enlistment and initial training in 1914 to the final Allied advance in the weeks leading up to the Armistice. It documents the experiences of an important but often overlooked branch of the British Army, first in the trenches then in the transport section.
The First World War: Mons 1914
The Battle of Mons was the first engagement for the British Expeditionary Force, meeting the German Army on the Belgian-French border in August 1914. Despite performing well they were forced into a withdrawal through the sprawling industrial area around Mons, in the face of superior German numbers. This feature-length documentary visits key locations in France and Belgium to tell the story of the BEF from arrival in France to the perilous retreat from the battle. 1 DVD 90min
Tommy at War
1914-1918: The Soldiers' Own Stories
Describing - from personal experience - the horror, exhilaration, comradeship and humour of warfare, this collection of first-hand accounts attempts to convey what it was like to serve as an ordinary British soldier in the Great War. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, correspondence and recorded interviews with survivors, the narrative examines recruitment and training and the soldier's experience of the home front and life in rear echelons as well as the discomfort, boredom and terror of the front line.
The Great War
Using over 1,000 rare and unseen photographs, facsimile reports and contemporary newspaper articles, Hamilton presents an extraordinarily vivid chronicle of the First World War. From the situation in the 'European tinder-box' prior to the outbreak of war, to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the book provides a comprehensive narrative, a day-by-day chronology and a graphic guide to the progress of the conflict, its major battles and campaigns and the prominent military and political leaders.
When the Whistle Blows
The Story of the Footballer's Battalion in the Great War
Drawing on many previously unpublished letters, personal accounts and photographs, the authors tell the story of the 17th Battalion, the Middlesex regiment - the 'Footballers' Battalion' - and their experiences on the pitch and in some of the fiercest battles on the Western Front. With a foreword by the military historian Richard Holmes.
The Best 500 Cockney War Stories
After the First World War, the London Evening News invited its readers to send in their stories of the trenches. A collection of 500 was then published and this book is a facsimile edition of that volume. The stories are accompanied by cartoons by wartime artist Bert Thomas and the light-hearted tone of the anecdotes is testimony to the Cockney Tommy's ability to laugh in the face of adversity.
The Last of the Ebb
The Battle of the Aisne, 1918
The 'ebb' referred to in the title of this First World War memoir was the German offensive of May 1918 that pushed the Allies miles back towards Paris before the flow of the war turned decisively in the Allies' favour. First published in 1937, Rogerson's eyewitness account criticizes the French for their part in the humiliating retreat and includes a chapter written by the German officer who planned the offensive.
Letters and News from the Trenches and the Home Front
During the First World War the Daily Mail published letters from soldiers and civilians as well as reports from the front line and comment by literary figures such as John Galsworthy, Arthur Conan Doyle and Thomas Hardy. This volume mixes these elements from the paper's archive with private diaries, correspondence and photographs from the battle- and home fronts to give a valuable contemporary perspective on the war.
The Lost History of the Most Important Battle of World War I, 1914-1918
The Battle of Verdun, the attritional struggle between the French and German infantries on the River Meuse, is traditionally held to have taken place between February and December 1916. John Mosier contends that the conflict in fact extended over the entire period of the war, across eight distinct battles. His new assessment of the strategy and execution of the engagements near Verdun is based on numerous military analyses, eyewitness accounts and newly translated French sources. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Master of the Field
As one of the key generals of the First World War, Douglas Haig increasingly attracted censure as the century progressed and the 'lions led by donkeys' view of the war became prevalent. This account of Haig's campaigns in 1917 and 1918 was written in 1953 by one of his key staff officers to counter the growing and, he felt, unjustified criticism. It offers an important insight from within the Field Marshal's inner circle. With a new preface by Haig's grandson.
The Legend and Tragedy of General Sir Ian Hamilton
The disastrous Gallipoli campaign of the First World War cost Winston Churchill his job as First Lord of the Admiralty and ended the military career of Ian Hamilton, widely blamed for the bungling of the operation on the ground. This study of Hamilton's military career traces his rise to prominence in the British Army of the 19th century and examines his failings, as well as those of his superiors, at Gallipoli, and his prescient military writings after the war.
In Flanders Fields
And Other Poems of the First World War
Selected from the work of soldiers who died in action - starting with Rupert Brooke in 1915 and ending with Wilfred Owen, killed just seven days before the Armistice, this 'procession of voices silenced by the war' captures both the realities of life at the front, as in Isaac Rosenberg's Louse Hunting, and thoughts about death such as John McCrae's In Flanders Fields. The anthology is illustrated with contemporary paintings and finely bound in gold-embossed covers. Slip-cased.
The Countdown to Global Conflict
The chain of events that led to the First World War was not obvious at the time; though simmering disputes were reported in the newspapers, it was not yet clear where they were heading. Illustrated with many dramatic photographs, this selection from the Daily Mirror archive charts the build-up to the conflict, year by year, from the beginning of the century, through crises in the Balkans and the Dreadnought arms race to the declaration of war in August 1914.
Some Desperate Glory
The Diary of a Young Officer, 1917
When Edwin Campion Vaughan set out for France, carrying Palgrave's Golden Treasury of poetry in his pack, he was an enthusiastic and patriotic young officer looking forward to adventure. This searingly honest and revealing diary traces his changing perspectives, evoking the day-to-day minutiae of trench warfare, and growing in horror and disillusionment as Vaughan's company - his 'happy little band' - is drawn into the carnage of Passchendaele.
British Posters of the First World War
The developments in graphic design and printing techniques that produced colourful and visually arresting commercial posters in the 1900s were put to good use during the First World War, calling volunteers to arms and informing and persuading the public about various issues throughout the conflict. This comprehensive survey of British posters of the period reproduces over 200 designs advising on everything from how to recognize enemy aircraft to the need to buy war bonds.
Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War
Travelling through the Balkans and drawing on his own experiences there as a war correspondent in the 1990s, Tim Butcher follows the journey of Gavrilo Princip, from a village in the mountains to Sarajevo, where he shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Slightly off-mint.