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Liverpool Territorials in the Great War (Hardback)

WWI 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918

By Paul Knight
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 293
ISBN: 9781473834040
Published: 2nd August 2017

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The Territorial Force is the forgotten army of the First World War. Between the pre-war Regular Army, which attempted to stem the German advance in 1914, and the New Armies who took to the field with such disastrous consequences on the Somme in 1916, stood the Territorial Army. Liverpool’s Territorials could be found on the Western Front before the famous Christmas truce of 1914, fighting in Gallipoli, and supporting the Canadians. Throughout 1916 and 1917, they succeeded and failed in some of the most brutal battles of the war. During the German 1918 Spring Offensive, Liverpool Territorials in the 55th (West Lancashire) Division halted the German advance, effectively ending Germany’s final bid to win the war.

Amazingly, the Territorials were never intended, trained or equipped for overseas service; their role was to defend the UK mainland against invasion. Yet men across Liverpool’s diverse communities volunteered for the Territorials in their thousands, forming the core of two divisions during the war.

Formed in 1908, but building on the Volunteer tradition of the 1850s, the Territorials remain in Liverpool to this day. Renamed the Army Reserve, they are still training and volunteering for operations.

Offering a fresh, integrated perspective on the Territorial Army during the First World War, this is the remarkable story of the Liverpool Territorials.

The first half of this book covers the infantry using war diaries and published sources to weave a coherent chronological history of the division. This is followed by a thematic account of the history of the other arms whose war diaries give sparse detail. As a result, there is a concentration on the units which left published records offering an overview on the purpose and action's of the division's less glamourous units in addition to that of the PBI. The result is an enjoyable volume which enhances our knowledge of the Liverpool Territorials.

Stand To! Journal of the Western Front Association

Author Paul Knight has written this extremely well researched book in a style that is engaging and accessible. The many illustrations have been chosen carefully to add real value to the story and include a number of maps showing the positions of the combatants in many of the battles being considered.

Liverpool Family Historian

This fine work stands as a lasting testament to the courage and valour of the men of Liverpool who left their hearths and homes, their occupations and professions and did their duty for King and Country.

Excellent history. 9/10

The Great War magazine, November 2017 – reviewed by Mark Marsay

Overall, this is vital addition to any reference and research collection of the First World War, as well as a good read.

Jon Sandison, Freelance

About Paul Knight

Paul Knight was commissioned into the Territorial Army (now the Army Reserve) in 1997 and has lived in Liverpool since 1999. He holds a PhD in History and is currently a Major working as the project officer for the Army’s First World War commemorations in the North West of England. This is his second book on the British Army in the First World War.

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