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indigoRichard Van Emden


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The offensive on the Somme took place between July and November 1916 and is perhaps the most iconic battle of the Great War. It was there that Kitchener's famous 'Pals' Battalions were first sent into action en masse and it was a battlefield where many of the…
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Presenting more than 150 never-before-published photographs of the campaign, many taken by the soldiers themselves, together with unpublished written material from British, Anzac, French, and Turkish sources, including eyewitness accounts of the landings, this is…

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It hardly seems credible today that a nineteen-year-old boy, just commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders, could lead a platoon of men into the carnage of the Battle of the Somme. Or that, as the machine gun bullets whistled past and shells exploded, he could…

Teenage Tommy

by Richard van Emden

|February 19, 2014

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Benjamin Clouting was just sixteen years old when he embarked with the British Expeditionary Force for France in August 1914. The youngest man in the 4th Dragoon Guards, he took part in the BEF's celebrated first action at Casteau on August 22nd, and, two days…
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Using the veterans’ own words and photographs, the book brings to life a mixture of their excitement of embarkation for France, their unbound optimism and courage, the agony of the trenches, and numbing fear of going over the top. The fight for survival, the long…

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At the end of the First World War more than 192,000 wives had lost their husbands, and nearly 400,000 children had lost their fathers. A further half a million children had lost one or more siblings. Appallingly, one in eight wives died within a year of receiving…

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This is a short book based on the letters written between 1915 and 1916 by an officer serving with the 1/4th Gordon Highlanders. Second Lieutenant Down wrote regularly to his girlfriend/fiancée throughout his time in France, letters which were published in…
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A British soldier walked over to the German front line to deliver newspapers; British women married to Germans became enemy aliens in their own country; a high-ranking British POW discussed his own troops heroism with the Kaiser on the battlefield. Just three…

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Albert John ('Jack') Martin was a thirty-two-year-old clerk at the Admiralty when he was called up to serve in the army in September 1916. These diaries, written in secret, hidden from his colleagues and only discovered by his family after his return home,…
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On the centenary of the Great War, there are now no longer any veterans alive of the six million men who served on the Western Front. Although this means that the Great War as a living history is to all intents and purposes over, the twenty years Richard van…

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This publication, SOMME – THE BATTLE 100 YEARS ON, has been published by Pen & Sword Books Ltd, with the purpose of creating an awareness and an interest in the Somme battles of 1916. For nearly thirty years, Pen & Sword Books Ltd has published numerous titles…