Harrogate Terriers (ePub)
The 1/5th (Territorial) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War
Book of the Month!
The Harrogate Terriers has been announced as Forces War Records Book of the Month, February 2017.
Using original personal and military diaries, with hundreds of carefully selected newspaper extracts, letters and photographs, this book traces individual stories of tragedy and heroism, involving tradesmen, apprentices, lawyers, musicians, sportsmen, brothers, husbands and fathers from Harrogate and the West Riding. As such, it characterises the experience of the British Infantryman in the Great War.
The Territorials of the 1/5th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment were the unsung heroes of the Great War. These ‘Saturday Night Soldiers’ from York and the northern West Riding of Yorkshire went out to face the might of the German Army in April 1915. Through the hot summer and dark winter that followed, they stopped bullets at the Battle of Aubers Ridge and choked on Phosgene gas at Ypres.
Caught in the carnage of the notorious first day on the Somme, the West Yorkshire Territorials were held up by General Haig as convenient scapegoats for his tactical failure, only for the 1/5th Battalion to prove him wrong and redeem itself as an attacking force at the Battle of Thiepval Ridge, and then again at Passchendaele in 1917.
In the last year of the war, the battalion helped fight a rear-guard action on the Menin Road, and was effectively wiped out at the Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge, only to be re-constituted in time to take part in the bloody advances at Cambrai and Valenciennes, which helped bring the conflict to an end.
Article part of Armistice centenary feature 'The Harrogate war heroes' as featured byHarrogate Advertiser, 8th November 2018 – words by Hollie Bone
All in all, a superb and very interesting book. Recommended.Medal News, September 2018 - reviewed by Allan Stanistreet
This book is an important reminder of the importance of the Territorial Battalions during the Great War...Jon Sandison, Freelance
The content is excellently researched and written by the author, pulling together newspaper extracts, photos, and letters. Moreover, and so importantly, it follows the individual stories of the local men who served, many in occupations such as railwaymen, tradesmen, waiters, apprentices, lawyers, and musicians.
Editor's ChoiceThe Great War magazine, reviewed by Mark Marsay
This excellent unit history tells the story of the men from the Yorkshire towns of Knaresborough, York, Ripon and Selby. Men who fought with honour at places like Aubers Ridge, Ypres, Thiepval, Passchendaele and Valenciennes, places where over 800 of them lost their lives. In this first-rate work the author traces the history of this Battalion from start to finish.
Highly recommended. 10/10
This is an excellent example of a modern unit history. It is clear that the underlying research is rock-solid, drawing upon a wide range of official and operational accounts, local newspapers and a variety of unpublished manuscripts and records. The book is also well and fluidly written, easing the reader through what at times are complex periods of war. I particularly liked the clarity of a series of sketch maps that illustrate the key actions.The Long, Long Trail
Read the full review here.
This is a fascinating biopic of a specific battalion of Territorial Army soldiers who suffered an appalling slur at the hands of General Haigh and then went on to show him up for his stupidity and duplicity. John Sheehans's research sets the record well and firmly straight!Books Monthly
As featured inYork Mix
As featured inRipon Gazette
As reviewed inLincolnshire Life Magazine
As featured inHarrogate Advertiser