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The Wartime Series

We've published a number of titles looking at places and people of East Anglia in the two world wars.

The Baker Brothers: Diaries from the Eastern Front 1914-1919 - Oliver Locker-Lampson and the Cromer Men of the Russian Armoured Car Division

Many diaries were kept through the years of the First World War. In these we move to a little known theatre of war, The Russian Front, and the story of a private fighting force raised in almost the same way local troops were brought together in feudal times. Our focus is two dozen men from the town of Cromer who, together with others from East Anglia, Ulster and further afield made up the Russian Armoured Car Division. Their 'knight' was Oliver Locker-Lampson, Member of Parliament for Ramsey in Huntingdonshire, but with his home in Cromer he relied on justified local loyalty to gather the volunteers he needed.

With the support of his friend, First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, a man not adverse himself to the adventures of war, he used his personal funds and his business connections to equip a Squadron of armoured cars. The Western Front proved an inappropriate place for them to operate and thus the men and cars were shipped to the Russian front, initially to support the armies of the Czar, before finding themselves wondering who their allies were. At that point they were withdrawn before being sent off to a further adventure in Mesopotamia, where the control of oil fields was the critical issue. Recruited as sailors rather than soldiers, the men were pleased to volunteer to be appointed Petty Officers at a rate of pay considerably better than those conscripted as privates in the Army.

Amongst these recruits were the three Baker brothers. Together with friends from the town they found themselves stuck in the frozen north for many months, then transferred to the heat of Turkey, Romania and Galicia. Their respective diaries and letters are woven together to tell a story with little dramatic fighting, and their distance from formal army regulations enabled cameras to be used freely. In fact keen photographer William Baker was charged by Commander Locker-Lampson to keep a record in pictures and his album provides the core of the picture record which accompanies the diaries and letters.

Book   Brenda Stibbons     ISBN 9781909796436     £14.95     Add this item to your basket

Sedgeford Aerodrome and the aerial conflict over North West Norfolk during the First World War

A detailed account of this west Norfolk aerodrome, both through archive research and archaeological excavation carried out by the SHARP team.

The word Zeppelin struck terror into the heart of much of the population of Britain as they realised that, unlike in years past, warfare might arrive in their city or town rather than be confined to some distant battlefield. The story of the Zeppelin raids on Britain has often been told elsewhere but in this publication the author takes the account further by putting the raids into the context of the subsequent development of air power in the east of England, with a particular focus on Sedgeford.

The accounts of the young men who flocked to try their hand at aerial adventure, their training at Sedgeford and the frequent loss of life before reaching a battlefield, are poignant. The skill and daring of Cadbury and Leckie - and their gratitude to have a Night Landing Ground - are the stuff of inter­war story telling. The perceptive accounts of death by fire written by Cadbury - a man from a Quaker family - sit alongside the responses of the populations of King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth as they reacted to injury and death delivered from the skies. The almost hysterical reactions of those who saw spies everywhere are also part of the story.

A particularly valuable aspect of the book is the part of the wireless scientists in the conflict, bringing their knowledge and perception to the efforts to defeat menace at sea and in the air. In a hut perched on the cliff-top at Hunstanton, the technicians scanned the wave bands to alert the fleet or the aircraft to give them the opportunity to gain an advantage of position and time. And in Room 40 at Whitehall, the birth of G.C.H.Q was under way ...

Book   Gary Rossin     ISBN 9781909796423     £14.95     Add this item to your basket

Lowestoft Fishermen's War: 1914-1918

While other fishermen around the British Isles had similar stories to tell about their wartime experiences this is the story of the Lowestoft men and boys who found themselves in the frontline of the economic war with Germany.

During the First World War Lowestoft fishermen were required to make statements under oath to a Board of Trade official in order to seek compensation for losses. These unpublished statements, which were also used by Naval Intelligence in their vital work to defeat the U-boat menace from Germany, lay unresearched in the National Archives. Not all have survived, but those that have form the main primary resource material for this book. In examining these statements, the author, Alan John Curtis, provides an insight into what one might argue has been an overlooked area of the region's maritime history.

Alan came across the records while researching his family history. The family's ties to the history of the fishing industry in the town are strong. His grandfather, George Francis, being the last of the family’s driftnet fishermen, had married Barbara Isbister a ‘fishergirl’ from Shetland. However, it was through discussions with his father and his collection of books, old photographs and newspaper cuttings that inspired the initial research and in the end the writing of this book.

Book   Alan John Curtis     ISBN 9781909796539     £10.95     Add this item to your basket

Beneath the Clouds - A Social History of the US Army Air Forces in the UK 1942-1945

Beneath the Clouds tells how wartime life in Britain affected the fighting men and the ground personnel of the American air force. Many fliers and ground crew did not know where they were going until their sealed orders were opened; it was a culture shock to arrive at the airfields of East Anglia in a country which had already been at war for three years.

Beneath the Clouds is a social history of the US Army Air Forces in the UK 1942-45, a story of life in a different country, the morale of the men, their lives, loves and losses as they took up the bombing campaign against Hitler's European stronghold. Whether you're a veteran who served or have a specific interst in social history, it will be fascinating reading. And of course for all those descended from those veterans, it will be an insight into their fathers' and grandfathers' lives. Published on 18th March 2012, you can click Beneath the Clouds to order your copy online and on Jackie Stuart's introduction to hear the author talk about this title.

Book   Jackie Stuart     ISBN B9780946148943     £12.95     Add this item to your basket

North Sea War 1914-1919

With commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the First World War commanding much attention, maritime author Robert Malster felt it was was time to bring together the various aspects, often considerably under-reported, of the war in the North Sea. The battle of Jutland generally takes the attention of those investigating that war at sea; the day-to-day activities of the warships of the Harwich Force, the little-known struggle of fishermen in their sailing smacks and the unceasing operations of drifters, trawlers and paddle steamers converted to meet naval requirements as minesweepers and patrol vessels never made headlines. Yet they were reality for thousands of sailors, fishermen and other maritime workers. Click the shopping basket below to order a copy online - or call at your favourite bookshop.
Book   Robert Malster     ISBN B9781909796157     £14.95     Add this item to your basket

Overstrand in the Great War

The parish of Overstrand in north Norfolk is just one of the hundreds across the country which has taken the opportunity to look back and remember the young - and sometimes not so young - of the village who went off to war just over 100 years ago. With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Overstrand Parish Council, the full colour and 208 pages of this title have been brought together by author Tim Bennett, a former Head Teacher of the Belfry school in the village. From the remarkable sermon preached by Overstrand resident and Eton Head Teacher Rev Dr Edward Lyttleton, wrestling with the morality of going to war, through to the changed lives of those who returned from the war, it is an intriguing and moving read.

To order online, click the basket icon below.

Book   Tim Bennett     ISBN 9781909796287     £9.95     Add this item to your basket

Grandad's War - The First World War Diary of Horace Reginald Stanley

Grandad's War - The First World War Diary of Horace Reginald Stanley. The young Horace Stanley had joined the Cambridgeshire Regiment before the First World War. By the time this territorial unit arrived on the battlefield, he was a sergeant in B company, 6 platoon.

He went to war with his military equipment but also with a sharp mind, a notebook and most remarkable of all, a camera amongst his kit. He fought with distinction at the second battle of Ypres and when invalided out, managed to find a way to re-enlist with the Army Ordnance Corps. This illustrated diary, with its introduction and background information, is another important contribution to the understanding of that extraordinary and deeply moving time. Support material for the book can be found on the 'Support and Resources' section of this web site.

Book   Juliet and Heather Brodie     ISBN 9780946148837     £11.95     Add this item to your basket

Dear Hal, Yours Pud

When Lord Kitchener famously said, at the beginning of the First World War, "Yours Country Needs You", the young people of Britain responded with alacrity, little knowing what lay before them. Most were straightforward, determined, adventurous, dutiful, with worried and caring friends, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers.

The young Norfolk soldier, nicknamed Pudlo, featured in this book joined up with his comrades. Throughout his training, his journey to the Front and his time in the line and a long stay in hospital after being injured in the Battle of the Somme he maintains correspondence with home. He deals with the mundane and maintains a humanity not all could cope with. And after the conflict he said nothing to the next generation until his letters were found in a family suitcase ...... Click on Theo Stibbons for an introduction from the compiler and editor of the letters.

Book   Theo Stibbons     ISBN 9780946148844     £12.95     Add this item to your basket

East Anglia against the Tricolor 1789-1815

As the 18th century came to its close, Europe watched events in France with amazement and with fear. But many, including a good number of prominent East Anglians, welcomed the overthrow of the French regime, cheered the fall of the infamous Bastille and considered it time for a British republic. Three years later, the French Revolution had provoked a European war, with Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex becoming part of the front line. With one brief pause, it was a war that would last for 23 years. Author Julian Foynes brings together the story of the east of England for the years 1789 to 1815. Voices from parliament, sermons from the pulpit, orders for the army and navy, stirring tales, maps and illustrations are amongst the many sources on which he has called for his comprehensive account of part of East Anglia's history. Click the basket below to order online; for a video introduction, click to hear more about the book.
Book   Julian Foynes     ISBN 9781909796270     £19.95     Add this item to your basket

Norwich at War

Norwich at War is a new edition of this title, covering the war years in the city of Norwich. Sixty years on from the Baedeker raids of 1942, this Third Edition includes extra photos and colour illustrations. Joan Banger's unique collection of information and photographs remind us of those dramatic days.

The partner title, Norwich at Peace, is in the miscellaneous section.

Book   Joan Banger     ISBN 0946148619     £4.95     Add this item to your basket


Currency: United Kingdom (£) GBP
The Baker Brothers: Diaries from the Eastern Front 1914-1919 - Oliver Locker-Lampson and the Cromer Men of the Russian Armoured Car Division
Sedgeford Aerodrome and the aerial conflict over North West Norfolk during the First World War
Lowestoft Fishermen's War: 1914-1918
Beneath the Clouds - A Social History of the US Army Air Forces in the UK 1942-1945
North Sea War 1914-1919
Overstrand in the Great War
Grandad's War - The First World War Diary of Horace Reginald Stanley
Dear Hal, Yours Pud
East Anglia against the Tricolor 1789-1815
Norwich at War
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