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VCs on the Western Front - 1917 to Third Ypres (ePub)

27th January 1917 to 27th July 1917

Military > Victoria Crosses WWI > By Year > 1917

By Paul Oldfield
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Victoria Crosses on the Western Front
File Size: 57.4 MB (.epub)
Pages: 368
Illustrations: 350 black and white illustrations & maps
ISBN: 9781473884885
Published: 6th January 2017


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In the past, while visiting the First World War battlefields, the author often wondered where the various Victoria Cross actions took place. He resolved to find out. In 1988, in the midst of his army career, research for this book commenced and over the years numerous sources have been consulted.

Victoria Crosses on the Western Front – 1917 to Third Ypres is designed for the battlefield visitor as much as the armchair reader. A thorough account of each VC action is set within the wider strategic and tactical context. Detailed sketch maps show the area today, together with the battle-lines and movements of the combatants. It will allow visitors to stand upon the spot, or very close to, where each VC was won. Photographs of the battle sites richly illustrate the accounts. There is also a comprehensive biography for each recipient, covering every aspect of their lives ‘warts and all’ – parents and siblings, education, civilian employment, military career, wife and children, death and burial/commemoration. A host of other information, much of it published for the first time, reveals some fascinating characters, with numerous links to many famous people and events.

This is a very impressive achievement, and it’s hard to imagine anyone producing anything more detailed on this topic!

Read the full review here

History of War

Detailed and well researched. 9/10

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

A fascinating reference book, superbly researched and full of all the information that one could wish to know about these courageous men who all won the VC. This is a fantastic book for anyone's bookshelf.

Battlefields Trust Magazine

This does just what it says on the cover. After the inevitable preamble, the first 200 plus pages go into enormous detail concerning the battles themselves and are extremely well illustrated with images and maps.

Medal News, August 2017

Overall, this book is a culmination of a quest by the author to find out where the various Victoria Cross awards took place in the midst of the action on this part of the Western Front. As stated from the outset, the books perfect accompaniment of the battlefield visitor, as well as the armchair historian. Each V.C Acton is detailed against the wider strategic and tactical events that were taking place on the battlefield at that time. Crucially, this book can assist the visitor to stand at a location and build up an understanding of how the VC was awarded. It includes useful and linked photographs of the battle sites, maps, as well as detailed stories and biographies of the recipients enabling the reader to understand their background and often humble origins, and also to inform their family and where buried. Although perhaps a heavy addition to suit case, being a solid hard backed book, it is a worthwhile one!

Jon Sandison, Freelance

These are not books that will, for the most part, be thoroughly pored over, cover to cover, but as reference they are extremely useful and so much more interesting to read than the often dry and dusty official histories.

Read the full review here.

Army Ancestry Research

The Victoria Cross was introduced as an award to recognise truly exceptional courage by officers and men in the face of the enemy. It has becoming an award that is recognised around the world. It is awarded carefully and for so many to be awarded in such a short period is an indication of the ferocity of the fighting on the Western Front. The author has very carefully researched the stories behind the awards in what must be the definitive account of these Victoria Cross recipients. Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here.


About Paul Oldfield

Paul Oldfield was born in Sheffield and was educated at Victoria College in Jersey. After serving in the Army for thirty-six years, he became a freelance battlefield guide (he is a badged member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides) and a historian. In 1988 he co-authored Sheffield City Battalion in the Pals series. Cockleshell Raid and Bruneval in Pen & Sword's Battleground Europe series were published in 2013.This is the twelfth book in his Victoria Crosses on the Western Front series.

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