Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

2004
Section 1

Book Review By Michael D Booker (July 2004)

THE CIVIL WAR IN YORKSHIRE
(Fairfax Versus Newcastle)

Author: David Cooke

Publisher:
Pen & Sword Military
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street ,
Barnsley
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

ISBN: 1-84415 076 3

First Published in 2004

UK Price: £12.99

The modern day shopper going about their every business, or the motorist passing through the modern day market towns and cosmopolitan cities of Yorkshire, will seldom spare a second thought about the past history of the area, as fewer buildings dating past the beginning of the last century are now evident.

During the short period between 1642 and 1644, the armies of the parliamentary Lord Fairfax challenged the royalist Earl of Newcastle and fought for control of Yorkshire – the key to the overall control of the North. Actions ranged from small skirmishes and rear guard actions, to large scale, bloody battles, such as the one at Marston Moor, where forty thousand men from five armies fought one of the most decisive battles in English history.

In this most excellent book, David Cooke, details the background behind each action and has included many eye witness accounts of the various engagements, together with superbly detailed antique maps and modern day photographs to set the overall scene. He has also produced several easy to follow tours in this volume and I feel sure that the reader’s future shopping trips or drives in the area will never be the same again!

Anyone with a general interest in Yorkshire or The Civil War will enjoy this book – it represents good value at £12.99.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (July 2004)

VILLERS BOCAGE

Author: George Forty

Publisher:
SUTTON PUBLISHING LIMITED
PHOENIX MILL
THRUPP
STROUD
GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL5 2BU

www.suttonpublishing.co.uk

ISBN: 0-7509- 3012 - 8

Published: 2004

UK Price: £14.99

Villers Bocage is one of the latest titles from Sutton Publishing’s excellent Battle Zone Normandy series of books. Published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of D-Day, this series consists of 14 fascinating volumes, covering all the major and minor engagements in June 1944, that went together to create, what is now known as the Battle of Normandy.

Having covered the build up to D-Day together with the airborne and amphibious landings in the first 6 volumes of the series, the next five volumes (which include this publication) follow on, to cover the crucial battles that followed, as Allied forces broke out from the beaches and advanced further inland .

Each volume in this exciting series features a fully detailed section covering the history behind the action and includes many superb maps and brilliant photographs (some now published for the first time!), together with several useful itineraries for those wishing to visit the battlefields themselves.

For readers who are considering further research and require more detailed information on the engagement itself and the units which fought in the action, each volume also includes a comprehensive order of battle for both allied and German forces and a list of books, together with sources of useful information and many other valuable contacts.

At £14.99, I honestly believe each volume represents excellent value for money and will be invaluable for the researcher, battlefield guide and tourist alike.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (July 2004)

D-DAY
BY THOSE WHO WERE THERE


Author: Peter Liddle

Publisher:
Pen and Sword Military
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
Barnsley
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

ISBN: 1 84415 07 9 8

First Published: 2004

UK Price: £19.99

Better known to many as D-Day, the 6th June 1944 is perhaps one of the most important days in world history, as it is considered by many to have been the start, of the end, of the Second World War! The landing of over 150,000 troops and their equipment on that dull June day, acted as a springboard for the allied advance into Europe and the liberation of several countries and thousands of their citizens from Nazi occupation.

For many veterans alive today, the events at that period are still as strong in their minds now, as they were 60 years ago, however as the years pass, their memories fade and sadly, fewer survivors remain to tell the tales of what really happened on the lead up to D-Day, during the invasion itself and the subsequent “moping up” battles.

This truly fascinating book is fully illustrated with many excellent previously unpublished photographs, it is packed to the hilt with detailed, factual and graphic accounts of events as they happened and are told by those who were actually there at the time! Sadly, many of these brave men and women are no longer alive today, however their gripping tales of what they witnessed then, have been recorded in this splendid volume for everyone to read today (over half a century later) and in the future.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (July 2004)

MAJOR & MRS HOLT'S
CONCISE ILLUSTRATED BATTLEFIELD GUIDE
THE WESTERN FRONT (NORTH)

Author: Toni & Valmai Holt

Publisher:
Pen & Sword Military
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
Barnsley
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

ISBN: 1-85052 933 6

First Published in 2004

UK Price: £14.99

Battlefield touring has increased beyond all expectations in the quarter of a century since Toni and Valmai Holt operated their first ever guided tour to the trenches and historical sites of France and Flanders in June 1977. Much of the growth in interest over the years can be attributed to the publication of the now famous Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guides - the best selling, exceptionally detailed and superbly illustrated books, that anyone studying, or touring the battlefields, should not be without!

Each splendid volume includes a great deal of fascinating information, where historical fact is coupled with informed opinion . Full colour photographs, excellent maps and diagrams together with details of war cemeteries and memorials and useful tourist information (how to get there, where to stay and places to eat etc.) is included. With the easy to follow battlefield tour itineraries also featured, the reader is guided around the battlefields, through the countryside as well as villages, towns and cities, that are linked with battles and major actions of either the Great or Second World Wars.

This latest publication and its companion volume "The Western Front - South", are valuable additions to the existing titles in the series, which includes Ypres, The Somme, Gallipoli, Normandy Landings and Operation Market Garden. Much up to date information has been added, especially up dated maps together with information on recent developments, where new sites of historical significance have been found.

For the family history researcher, battlefield tourist, military historian, battlefield guide, student of military history or armchair enthusiast, this book is a must and at £14.99 represents excellent value for money!

Book Review By Michael D Booker (July 2004)

Without Tradition
2 Para 1941-1945


Author: Robert Peatling

Publisher:
Pen And Sword Military
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
Barnsley
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

ISBN: 1 84415 111 5

First Published in 1994
Reprinted 2004

UK Price: £12.99

The superb book tells the remarkable story, of the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, which was formed in September 1941, when men from various units of the British Army volunteered for parachute duties. The attraction of an extra 2 shillings a day (.10p in today’s money) attracted hundreds of potential recruits for this new Regiment, however as experience was to prove, only one man in three actually possessed the necessary mental attitude and physical fitness to complete the demanding training and earn the right to wear the coveted maroon beret and distinguishing qualified parachutist wings.

Within the first three years of its formation, 2 Para had already taken part in five daring airborne operations behind enemy lines and as a result, earned five out of the eleven Battle Honours emblazoned on the Regiment’s Standard, along with many honours, decorations and awards, which included one officer of the Battalion being awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his supreme courage, leadership and devotion to duty during the now legendary battle for Arnhem!

The author has successfully produced a brilliant volume, that is Packed full of fascinating facts and information relating to the daring actions of the brave men of this, one of the most elite units of the British Army. Eyewitness accounts of veterans have been included, along with excerpts from the Battalion War Diaries too. The comprehensive appendix includes a list of officers who served with the battalion throughout the war, along with a detailed roll of honour and an honours and awards list and therefore this publication will be invaluable to the military historian, battlefield guide and researcher alike.

Book Review By M D Booker (February 2004)

DISCOVERING ENGLISH COUNTY REGIMENTS

Author: Ian F W Beckett

Publisher:
Shire Publications Ltd
Cromwell House
Princess Risborough
Buckinghamshire
HP27 9AA

www.shirebooks.co.uk

ISBN: 0 7478 0506 7

First Published in 1970
New edition published in 2003

UK Price: £9.99

Having purchased this book when it was first published in 1970, I am delighted to see this new, updated and much enlarged edition, as the original version proved to be an excellent investment as it has been an invaluable source of reference for the past thirty three years!

I firmly believe this superb and excellent value for money, pocket size volume will appeal and be beneficial to family and local history researchers together with students of military matters alike, as it provides a most useful potted history and guide to England's former county infantry Regiments.

Broken down on a county by county basis, individual Regiment's battle honours, customs and uniform differences, as well as details of their Victoria Cross awards, Regimental memorials, museums and mottoes are all included. Especially useful for the researcher are be the sections covering the " Regiments of Foot" numbering system, together with post 1881 designations, early amalgamations and details of modern day titles resulting from the "Options for change" policy.

Many fascinating black and white, as well as colour photographs, together with reproductions of superb paintings are now featured in this latest edition, sadly however, this seems to have been at the expense of the loss of the excellent illustrations of Regimental badges that appeared in my cherished first edition!

19 August 2004

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