Summer 2017 catalogue offer: 5 for 4 on all new titles!

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New and back in stock – buy 4 titles and choose a 5th free!
Maladies and Medicine God’s Generals Same Sex Love 1700-1957 A Wargamer’s Guide to the Early Roman Empire

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South Yorkshire Mining Villages The Isles of Scilly in the Great War Happy Odyssey Walking Arras

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Auschwitz Death Camp Bomber Command Airfields of Yorkshire Under the Devil’s Eye Grimsby Streets

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Spotlight on: The Dunkirk Evacuation in 100 Objects

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The Dunkirk Evacuation in 100 Objects – The Story Behind Operation Dynamo in 1940

At 18.57 hours on Sunday, 26 May 1940, the Admiralty issued the directive which instigated the start of Operation Dynamo. This was the order to rescue the British Expeditionary Force from the French port of Dunkirk and the beaches surrounding it. The Admiralty believed that it would only be able to rescue 45,000 men over the course of the following two days, ‘at the end of which’, read the signal to Admiral Ramsey at Dover, ‘it was probable that evacuation would be terminated by enemy action’. The Admiralty, however, was wrong.

Between 26 May and 4 June 1940, when Dynamo officially ended, an armada of ships, big and small, naval and civilian, achieved what had been considered impossible. In fact, in this period a total of 338,682 men had been disembarked at British ports. Such a figure has exceeded the expectations of most. Little wonder, therefore, that an editorial in The New York Times at the beginning of June declared, ‘So long as the English tongue survives, the word Dunkirk will be spoken with reverence’.

Through 100 objects, from the wreck of a ship through to a dug-up rifle, and individual photographs to large memorials, all of which represent a moving snapshot of the past, the author sets out to tell the story of what came to be known as The Miracle of Dunkirk. The full-colour photographs of each 100 items are accompanied by detailed explanations of the object and the people and events which make them so special or relevant.

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The Royal Navy at Dunkirk Cassel and Hazebrouck 1940 Dunkirk Gunboat Command

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In the press…
The Coming Storm – Test and First Class Cricketers Killed in World War Two

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From the cricket field to the battlefield: Stories of bravery from the 140 first-class players who died in WWII are recalled after almost 80 years (article via Mail Online).

About the book: The outbreak of the Second World War came towards the closing stages of the 1939 cricket season. ‘Hitler permitted us almost to complete an exceptionally interesting season,’ Sir Home Gordon, wrote in the Cricketer magazine, ‘When shall we see the stumps pitched again?’ As the West Indies touring team cancelled their last five matches and sailed home before the U-boat threat developed, the treasures at Lord’s, including the Ashes, were sent to a secret location for safe-keeping. The Marylebone Cricket Club cancelled its tour to India – England played under the MCC banner then.

During the ensuing conflict twelve test cricketers (five English, two South Africans, one Australian and one New Zealander) perished together with 130 first class players. In this superbly researched sequel to Final Wicket, covering cricketing fatalities during The Great War, this book reveals each man’s career details, including cricketing statistics, and the circumstances of death. There is also a brief history of the game during the War. Arguably the period between the two world wars was the golden age of cricket, and this book honours those who made it so only to die serving their countries in a different way.

1000 Days on the River Kwai – The Secret Diary of a British Camp Commandant

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River Kwai hero’s forbidden diary buried in grave of fellow soldier is published (article via Daily Express).

About the book: Memoirs by former prisoners of war of the Japanese invariably make for moving reading but Colonel Owtram’s account of his years of captivity has a special significance.

After being captured in Singapore and transported to the infamous Burma railway he was appointed the British Camp Commandant at Chungkai, one of the largest POW camps. Many ex-prisoners testified to the mental and physical courage that he showed protecting POWs from the worst excesses of their captors. Of course his account does not admit to this but what is clear is that in addition to the deprivation and hardship suffered by all POWs, the author bore heavy responsibility for those under his charge and the daily trauma of dealing with the unpredictable Japanese.

It is not only the prisoners who suffered but their families at home. The postscript written by the author’s daughters vividly demonstrates the agonies of doubt and worry that loved ones went through and the effect of the experience on all.

Popular titles – new and coming soon
Great Western Small-Wheeled Double-Framed 4-4-0 Tender Locomotives Malayan Emergency Cassel and Hazebrouck 1940 Conquerors of the Roman Empire: The Goths

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1000 Days on the River Kwai Waterloo Messenger British Destroyers & Frigates Offa and the Mercian Wars

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SS Das Reich At War 1939-1945 HMS Gloucester French Battleships of World War One London’s Gangs at War

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On this day in history – 100 years on

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The Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps was established on 7 July 1917.

In March 1917, the first women to be enrolled into the British Army joined the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). The women substituted men in roles that the Army considered suitable, thereby freeing men to move up the line. The WAACs served, for example, as cooks, drivers, signallers, clerks, as well as gardeners in the military cemeteries. Due to their exemplary service, Queen Mary gave her name to the Corps in April 1918 and it became Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC). By the time the Corps was disbanded in 1921, approximately 57,000 women had served both at home and in France.

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in France, 1917-1921 by Samantha Philo-Gill details the establishment of the Corps and subsequently explores the experience of the WAACs who served in France. It follows the women from enrolment to the camps and workplaces overseas, through to their experiences of the Spring Offensive of 1918, the Armistice and demobilisation. The final chapter reviews how the women have been remembered in art, literature, museums and memorials. Throughout the book, the author locates the women in a society at war and examines how they were viewed by the Army, the general public and the press. The author draws on a wide range of sources to provide the background and uses the oral and written testimonies of the women themselves to tell their stories.

Latest eBook releases
Phantom in the Cold War The North Yorkshire Moors Railway Waterloo: The Campaign of 1815 The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters

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