‘Fromelles 1916 – No Finer Courage The loss of an English Village, is much more than the local chronicle of a grievous period on our history.
For those who, so many years later, find it difficult to comprehend the vast scale of human sacrifice between 1914 and 1918, here it is in microcosm.’ – John Craven, Broadcaster.
History tells us that no community in Britain escaped the carnage of the First World War. Up and down the country, war memorials bear silent testimony to the men who went away to fight and never returned.
The Lee – a village in Buckinghamshire – was certainly no different.
Men from the village joined the local Buckinghamshire Territorial Battalion and went away to fight; many died serving their King and Country.
But The Lee was special in a number of ways. On the eve of war in August 1914, the village itself was owned by Sir Arthur Liberty, the founder of the Regent Street store. As the Lord of the Manor he made a profound personal impact on village life and introduced The Lee Magazine, which vividly recorded the effects of the war on the community.
The war was a great leveller: men from rich and poor backgrounds alike joined the colours and fate was even-handed in deciding who survived the hell of the trenches.
In addition to a full run of The Lee Magazine, the author has drawn on a wide range of archive sources that includes unpublished letters, diaries, memoirs and newspapers.
For today’s reader, Fromelles 1916 affords an unrivalled insight into the life and times of an English village in the First World War – a way of life swept away for ever by the changes ushered in by the conflict. Also include are guides to the Fromelles battlefield and the new cemetery at Pheasant Wood.
Michael Senior was born in Yorkshire and now lives in Buckinghamshire.
He has had a life-long interest in the First World War and, since his retirement, he has devoted much of his time to research, lecturing and writing about aspects of the Western Front.
** The book includes a guide to the Fromelles battlefield and new Pheasant Wood cemetery **
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Fromelles 1916 – No Finer Courage The loss of an English Village