General History

Regimental History

The late 7th Marquess of Anglesey did military historians and the public at large a huge favour when he set out on his mammoth task to document the history of the British Cavalry between 1816 and 1919. Thankfully he completed his labour of love and these volumes are a fitting epitaph to him. Volume 7 deals with the Curragh Incident and the cavalry on the Western Front in 1917. In common with other volumes in this series that I have read, the book is written in such an easy and engaging style that even those with no particular interest in either cavalry or military history could easily find themselves drawn to the subject matter. Furthermore, adopting conventions which were the norm in books written a hundred years ago or more, we find a single line précis at the head of each page - the key point on each picked out so that we, the readers, can quickly skim if we want to, making sure that we don't miss the key messages. This particular volume benefits from the odd cartoon or illustration.. Read more

Paul Nixon, Amazon Reviewer

This is a well-written and well-annotated history of the 16th, 18th and 20th (Service) Battalions of the West Yorks Regt that can sit quite happily alongside other books in Pen & Sword's Pals series.

Paul Nixon, Amazon Reviewer

I doubt I am alone in associating the Pals battalions mainly with the 1st July 1916 and the effect of that day on the local communities that they came from. Yet their role in the war was of course much greater than this. Accrington not only raised a whole infantry battalion, but also rose to the challenge of forming an Artillery Brigade as well. In this new history Andrew Jackson looks to set the record straight with a comprehensive account of the war records of both units. Building on the success of his website and drawing on over 30 years of research, Jackson provides an in-depth account of both units, utilising war diaries, local newspapers and a host of other sources. From the conception and formation of the units, to their training and deployment, the sources (including many letters home and accounts written by the men) are used to great effect to paint a rich and detailed picture of the Accrington units and the men who were part of them.

I though this was likely to be a good book when I saw the name of the author. Andrew Jackson has, for many years, operated a website about the Accrington Pals, the 11th (Service) Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment. It is a model of clarity and good research, and unlike many of the other works on this unit covers all of the “pals” story and not just the dreadful day of 1 July 1916. For any aspiring researcher of a unit, a battle or a war memorial, you would profit from looking at Jackson’s work as a standard to be achieved. The book is well written and engaging, taking us from pre-war days and providing non-Lancastrians with a good idea of the area and life there in 1914, through the days of enlistment and training and out into the theatre of war. In a sense, the climax comes early as the Accrington Pals went into action at Serre on the first day of the Somme, and suffered terribly heavy losses. Things were never quite the same again for the battalion but Jackson reveals that.. Read more

The Long Long Trail

Altogether an absorbing and thought provoking book written in the author's accustomed lucid and readable style with plenty of anecdote to enliven the informative material. I enjoyed it greatly and learned much.

Casemate – Fortress Study Group