Somewhere in France: A Tommy’s Guide To Life On The Western Front by William & Geoffrey Whittaker (Amberley 2014, ISBN 978-1-4456-3671-9, 256pp, paperback, £9.99)
This fascinating little book is a great insight into an ordinary soldier’s life on the Western Front illustrated through 270 letters from William Whittaker, the father of one of the authors, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. His war began in France in 1915 with a Sanitary Section, which makes it an usual account and one of the few by a man who served in that type of unit. A great read, the letters are well presented with some good supportive information.
The First World War In Photographs: 1914 Over By Christmas by John Christopher & Campbell McCutcheon (Amberley 2014, ISBN 978-1-4456-2181-4, 160pp, paperback, £15.99)
This is part of a new series by Amberley looking at the war through contemporary illustrations. This volume relates to 1914 and includes a large number of illustrations and coloured reproductions of 1914 recruiting posters. The photographs used cover a wide experience of this year of the war from the point of view of the war on land, and at sea and in the air – and also on the home front. While some are well known images, there are quite a lot of new ones here and the selection is well chosen. Ideal for anyone interested in the imagery of war and a superb resource for teachers who teach WW1 in the classroom.
The First World War In Photographs: The First World War At Sea 1914 by Phil Carradice (Amberley 2014, ISBN 978-1-4456-2233-0, 128pp, paperback, £14.99)
This is a very welcome volume as it covers the war at sea, something often lacking in publications relating to the Great War. In some respects 1914 was very much a naval war period and this book gives good coverage of the British home fleet, illustrates the types of ships used by both sides and mentions key actions like the Falklands. There are some good colour illustrations and with good supporting text and well chosen photos throughout this is an excellent book and a good visual guide to the war at sea in 1914.
Bishop’s Stortford in the First World War by David Clare, Carolyn Downing & Sarah Turner (Amberley 2014, ISBN 978-1-4456-3270-4, 96pp, paperback, illustrated, £14.99)
During this centenary year war memorial books are likely to constitute a large amount of the printed output relating to WW1. Some of them are no more than expanded lists of names with little history, and often very repetitive. This, however, is a very different sort of book in that it covers in detail different aspects of Great War history relating to those from Bishop’s Strortford and includes often neglected subjects like women in the Great War. Yes there are some good stories of men from the area who died but this book is so much more and a little treasure of information with excellent illustrations, many in colour. Recommended.
These books are all available from the Amberley Publishing website.