"Chelmsford in the Great War" has just been published by Pen & Sword Publishing. This blog tells the stories which didn't make it into the book, and shares my current research.
Thursday, 21 May 2015
This is from Amazon:
"I have to admit some bias here. I was born in Chelmsford and apart from stints at university and in India, have lived in the city for most of my life. Furthermore, I am a keen student of military history and met many First World War veterans in and around Chelmsford in the 1980s. They would have loved to have seen this book.
"Jonathan Swan has done a first rate job with this book. It's a book that has appeal both to those interested in the First World War and to those who are interested in Chelmsford. There is plenty in here that I was unaware of and the easy narrative is well-supported by early maps, photographs and street plans of Chelmsford. I found the latter particularly interesting and, for instance, had never realised that there were originally "Wellington Cottages" at the end of "Waterloo Lane". That harks back to an earlier conflict of course but Jonathan certainly knows his stuff when it comes to the First World War and there are useful chapters on the Volunteers (The so called "Gorgeous Wrecks" who seem to be a generally forgotten home army), The Specials, Camps and Airfields, Joining Up, Trade and Industry, and so on.
"This is a book that can be easily dipped into and out of and, having read a number of books in this series, I have to say that to date, this is by far the best. But then again, as I said at the start, I am biased. All bias aside, the author has done his research well and above all, this is a very readable book. It's one thing to dig out the facts, quite another to offer them in such a compelling manner.
"I gather the book has been selling well in and around Chelmsford. Long may that continue, and I hope it reaches a wider audience than Essex. It certainly deserves to do so."