FAMOUS 1914-1918.

Emden, Richard van. & Piuk, Victor.


Barnsley, 1st ed., Thus, 1998. 350 pp., cold., + b&w photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. In August 1914 Lord Kitchener appealed for volunteers to fight alongside Britain's small professional army. The response was overwhelming and among them were some who would one day be famous. The stories of twenty-one men who went on to international acclaim are featured here. Only one, Bernard Law Montgomery, was a regular soldier; the rest were civilians. They include Arnold Ridley, who starred as Godfrey in Dad's Army, Basil Rathbone, the quintessential Sherlock Holmes, and Nigel Bruce, his sidekick Watson. There are authors such as J. R.R. Tolkien, and AA Milne, the sculptor Henry Moore and explorer George Mallory. There are future Prime Ministers, Churchill and Macmillan, the playwright RC Sherriff and the scientist who discovered penicillin, Alexander Fleming. Only one is infamous, the mass murderer John Christie, who lived at 10 Rillington Place. Each character's war service is studied in detail, drawing on their own published and unpublished recollections. The book also focuses, where possible, on one specific incident, enabling the battlefield tourist or fan to follow in their footsteps. Many chapters appear with detailed maps and there are fifty photographs, many previously unpublished.

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