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Section 3

Book Review By Michael D Booker (January 2006)


Author: Harry Turner

Spellmount Limited
The Village Centre
Kent TN12 0BJ

ISBN: 1 86227 279 4

First Published in 2005

UK Price £15.00

Recalling in verse, the dramatic events that occurred during this great conflict, this rather splendid volume with its excellent photographs, copies of engravings and maps will certainly appeal to anyone generally interested in the Crimean War as a whole together with the men and Regiments that fought in it. Those with a love of poetry will not be disappointed either!

The author has kindly dedicated this, his latest book to the ordinary soldiers of Britain, France, Turkey and Russia, thereby giving an indication of the nations involved and the wide borders between Europe and Asia, in which this war was actually fought.

Covering the events that led up to the war itself together with the famous battles of Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman, the extraordinary and ferocious sieges of Sevastopol are featured too. The passionate and evocative verse reflects the heroism of the soldiers together with the weaknesses of some senior officers and also, the carnage and dreadful conditions and resulting sickness that took its toll on so many men.

I believe this is a very nice addition to any military enthusiasts bookshelf and particularly good value for money.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (February 2006)


Edited By : Kira Charatan & Camilla Cecil

Pen & Sword Military Classics
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

ISBN: 1-84415 374 6

First Published in 2005
UK Price £19.99

This is one volume that is well worth the price, for the many splendid photographs it contains alone!

This excellent book is based on the photographs and Great War diaries of the Honourable Major Edward Cadogan – the Old Etonian, Oxbridge graduate and London aristocrat who served initially in the Suffolk Yeomanry before moving on to become Commander of the Palestine Intelligence Corps during the Great War. Presumed lost until their recent discovery by Viscount Chelsea, these diaries are unique and therefore provide a most important and valuable source of information , that will prove to be of use to both the military historian and researcher alike.

The fascinating story of how he, a man so used to a life of luxury and grandeur , was suddenly exposed to the danger of constant shell-fire, discomfort and hardship in the trenches of Gallipoli, is actually told in his own sensitive words and of course via these excellent photographs. They reveal obvious frustration at the conduct of the war and his inner thoughts, but also portray the amazing comradeship of his men and colleagues too.

After his evacuation from the Dardanelles Peninsular, Cadogan served in Egypt, North Africa and Palestine, where he fought in both the first and second Battles of Gaza. He left the army in 1919 and returned to politics. Having served as a Conservative M.P. in a number of constituencies, despite his age, he later volunteered for service as a Pilot Officer in the RAF during World War 2.

In a nutshell, a most fascinating book, that will, without a doubt be appreciated by anyone with an interest in the Gallipoli Campaign or indeed the Great War in general.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (January 2006)


Author: Michael Barker

Shire Publications Ltd
Cromwell House
Princess Risborough
HP27 9AA

ISBN:07478 0582 2

Published in 2005

UK Price: £4.99

Military Historians, Battlefield Guides and students of architecture will appreciate this splendid little book covering the life and career of Sir Edwin Lutyens.

This remarkable and talented man, who lived between 1869 and 1944, is said to have been the most prolific British architect since Sir Christopher Wren. With a distinguished career spanning over 50 years from the time of Queen Victoria through to the Second World War, he was the designer of many elegant country houses and gardens together with a wealth of beautiful monuments and war memorials throughout the world.

Most famous perhaps for designing the Cenotaph in London and the imposing Thiepval Memorial to the 73,357 missing on the Somme, his other designs for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at Arras, Etaples and Villiers Bretonneaux, as well as the fountains in Trafalgar Square, deserve a mention too.

Written by author with a wealth of knowledge of this great man and his work, there is a vast amount of useful information together with many colour and black and white photographs included in this handy sized 50 page publication, which I am sure will prove invaluable to many, when visiting numerous city centre War Memorials and buildings, or CWGC War Grave cemeteries worldwide.

Priced at under five pounds, it represents superb value for money and is therefore a must for your bookshelf.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (February 2006)


Author: William Manningham

Publisher: Melrose Books
St Thomas Place

ISBN: 1 905 226 047

Published in 2006

UK Price: £9.99

This interesting paperback publication from Melrose Books, is the moving account of the capture and imprisonment of William Manningham - a British seaman who served in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. Remarkably, despite the hardships and extreme conditions he and his colleagues endured at the time, he painstakingly recorded every detail of his captivity in his diary and now, as a result, some sixty years later, he is able to share his unique wartime experiences with us. William was in fact en route to Sierra Leone when his ship was attacked and captured by the German Raider “Vir” and as a result, he along with his crewmates were imprisoned in the tiny hold below decks, as they started what was to be, a long and tortuous journey to the heart of Germany, where they were eventually imprisoned in the infamous Milag Nord Prisoner of War Camp. The author describes in astonishing detail what life was like on this journey, which was not without further incident, as the “Vir” went on to attack and also sink other vessels too. He tells of the thoughts going through everyone’s mind at that time, as they remained totally helpless and squeezed “like sardines in a tin” in the bowels of the ship. He continues to recall that life in captivity for ordinary prisoners was monotonous. The food was poor and the daily routine (apart from intermittent attacks of brutality by the guards), was tedious. The captives organised a range of sporting event and theatrical productions to pass the time away and artefacts and photographs from these events are reproduced too.This volume provides the reader with a host of fascinating information as to what conditions were really like as a Prisoner of War, deep behind German lines and the hardships and deprivations they had to suffer. I am therefore sure, that it will be of tremendous interest to a wide range of readers ranging from those keen to learn more about the Second World War in general, through to those with special interest in the war at sea and of course Prisoner of War Camps.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (February 2006)


Author: David J Bercuson & Holger H. Herwig

Weidenfield & Nicholson
The Orion Publishing Group Limited
Orion House
5 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane
London WC2H 9EA

ISBN: 10 0297 84631 0

First Published in 2005

UK Price £20.00

This excellent volume tells the fascinating story of how Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt met in Washington during the Christmas of 1941 and New Year period of 1942, to forge a “Grand Alliance” and launch a joint strategy aimed at defeating the axis-powers and of course, winning the war.

Organising a meeting of this nature at this time, between the two prominent allied leaders was no easy feat, however Churchill braved extreme weather conditions and the threat of attack by German U-Boats to cross the Atlantic, however a meeting was in fact crucial, as both Britain and the United States were now perceived to be at their lowest-ebb. Just a few weeks beforehand, Pearl Harbour had been attacked by the Japanese and two major British warships - the Repulse and Prince of Wales had been sunk by enemy torpedo-bombers in the Far East. The Italian Navy had also entered Alexandria and sunk the British Battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valliant, whilst Rommel was aiding the Italians in North Africa. Leningrad was under siege and the German army was now less than twelve miles from the centre of Moscow.

The full details of these historic and important meetings, which lasted over a period of three weeks are now revealed for the first time by the publication’s talented authors. They also tell of the lighter side of the visit, when the two leaders lit the traditional Christmas Tree and addressed the crowds in front of the White House, together with the facts surrounding Churchill’s heart attack whilst in Washington too.

This superb book is suited to the more serious students of the Second World War, however anyone interested in international relations will find it a most useful addition to their bookshelves.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (March 2006)


Author: A.M. McGilchrist

Publisher: Naval & Military Press
Unit 10, Ridgewood Industrial Park
East Sussex
TN22 5QE
United Kingdom


ISBN: 1845740939

Originally Published In 1930

UK Price: £14.50

Thanks once again are due to Naval and Military Press, who have produced yet another splendid and very affordable re-print of a Regimental history that went out of print many years ago. Collectors, family and local history researchers and Military Historians will therefore welcome this particular volume which was originally published in 1930 as a record of the Great War for veterans and to serve as an inspiration for all new recruits, in the hope they would maintain the highest traditions of the Regiment in future years.

Although the author has treated this famous Territorial Battalion as a Regiment in its own right, it was technically the 10th (TF) Battalion of the much larger King’s Liverpool Regiment and this publication covers the history of its 1/10th, 2/10th and 3 /10th (Scottish) Battalions during the period between 1900 and the end of the Great War - the conflict in which the Liverpool Scottish lost just over 1100 men who were either killed in action or died on active service.

When the 1/10th landed in France in early November 1914, it was one of the first to join the BEF. Serving with both the 3rd and 55th Divisions, it remained in France until the end of the war. The 2/10th formed in October 1914, went to France in February 1917 and served with the 57th Division until April 1918, when it too joined the 55th Division, on its absorption into the 1/10th Battalion. The 3/10th was formed at the end of May 1915, but did not travel overseas during the Great War.

This book really makes excellent reading, especially as the 55th Division claimed the highest number of VCs in a non-regular division. Among them, was the only VC and bar to be awarded during the Great War - that of Noel Chavasse RAMC, who was in fact the Medical Officer of the Liverpool Scottish until he died of the wounds received whilst winning his second VC in August 1917.

The researcher / reader will find the appendices very useful, as it includes a nominal roll of the 1st Battalion (including attached personnel) when it embarked for France, together with a list of Honours and Awards and a Roll of Honour in which all names are listed alphabetically.

Another splendid and useful title that will grace many bookshelves or reference libraries.

Last updated 17 February, 2009

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