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Recomended reading on the subject of the Great War 1914-1918

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Announcements

  • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

    This website has been running for 18 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

  • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.





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Sep 2017

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 235634 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.




History of the Shiny Seventh

C Digby Planck


Written in the 1920's and recently reprinted. This history tells the story from those early beginnings to the end of WWII including the period between wars when, in 1936, the the regiment's role changed from infantry to searchlight and the title to 32nd (7th City of London) AA Battalion, RE.,TA. Most of the book, some 200 pages, is concerned with the Great War and the record of the two active battalions, 1/7th and 2/7th. The narrative includes extracts from letters, diaries and articles written by officers and men, casualty details are given as they occur and gallantry awards and other incidents. The inter-war years and WWII are only briefly covered and the Roll of Honour for The Great War has one list, officers and men of both battalions, in alphabetical order but without identifying the battalion; Honours and Awards are shown under 1/7th and the combined 2/7th and 7th.
More information on:

History of the Shiny Seventh




Dawn Raid: Bombardment of the Hartlepools

J M Ward


An excellent account of the naval bombardment on the 16th of December 1914.


Guns of the Northeast: Coastal Defences from the Tyne to the Humber

Joe Foster


A detailed study of the coastal defences of North East England, including accounts of the bombardment of the East coast in 1914, with many excellent photgraphs and diagrams.


Bombardment: The Day the East Coast Bled

Mark Marsay


A well researched book with many personal accounts of the events of the 16th of December 1914


Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Alastair Of Airds Campbell





The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders: A Concise History

Trevor Royle


The Argylls have a stirring history of service to the British Crown. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders is one of the best known regiments in the British Army. When it was ordered to disband in 1968 as part of wide-ranging defence cuts, a popular 'Save the Argylls' campaign was successful in keeping the regiment in being. They served all over the empire, taking part in the Indian Mutiny and the Boer War, and fought in both World Wars.In the post-war period the Argylls captured the public imagination in 1967 when they re-occupied the Crater district of Aden following a period of riots. Recruiting mainly from the west of Scotland, the regiment has a unique character and throughout its history has retained a fierce regimental pride which is summed up by its motto: 'sans peur', meaning 'without fear'. "The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders" puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.


Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-19: Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)


A roll call of those killed during the Great War whilst serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. A valuable research tool.


God's Own: 1st Salford Pals, 1914-1916

Neil Drum & Roger Dowson


This superbly researched book looks at the story of the raising and training of the Pals. It then moves on to their first experiences in France, and concludes with their destruction on the First Day of the Somme. Throughout there are numerous references to officers and men, and many first hand accounts, both of which combine to make it a fascinating account. This first section then ends with biographies of all the casualties, many of them accompanied by a photograph and some in great detail. The second part of the book is a complete roll of every officer and man that served with the 15th Lancashire Fusiliers from formation until 1st July 1916. It gives basic details of every soldier; some men have lengthy entries. A wonderful piece of research!


Salford Pals , A History of the Salford Brigade: 15th, 16th, 19th and 20th Battalions Lancashire Fusiliers

Michael Stedman


Salford was late in recruiting for its Pals battalions, with many of its men already joining Territorial units and a new Pals battalion in Manchester. Yet within a year it had raised four Pals battalions and a reserve battalion. Raised mainly from Lancashire's most notorious slums, the men trained together in Wales, North East England and on Salisbury Plain, they had great expectations of success. On the 1st of July 1916 the Somme offensive was launched and in the very epicentre of that cauldron the first three of Salford's battalions were thrown at the massive defences of Thiepval - the men were decimated, Salford was shattered. Michael Stedman records the impact of the war from the start on Salford and follows the difficulties and triumphs. Whether the actions small or great the author writes graphically about them all. Unusual photographs and a variety of sources make this both a readable and a scholarly account.


Tyneside Scottish: 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd (Service) Battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers

John Sheen


A detailed account of the Tyneside Scottish Brigade, formed in response to Kitchener's c all for a new army, made up of local men from around Newcastle, few of whom were Scots


Three Before Breakfast

Alan Coles


'A true & dramatic account of how a German U-boat sank three British, Aboukir, Hogue and Cressey in one desperate hour
More information on:

Three Before Breakfast




Ireland's Unknown Soldiers: The 16th (Irish) Division in the Great War

Terence Denman


The Great War of 1914-18 saw the Irish soldier make his greatest sacrifice on Britain's behalf. Nearly 135,000 Irishmen volunteered (conscription was never applied in Ireland) in addition to the 50,000 Irish who were serving with the regular army and the reserves on 4 August 1914. Within a few weeks of the outbreak of the war no less than three Irish divisions - the 10th (Irish), 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) - were formed from Irishmen, Catholic and Protestant, who responded to Lord Kitchener's call to arms. An estimated 35,000 Irish-born soldiers were killed before the armistice came in November 1918. Over 4,000 of those who died were with the 16th (Irish) Division.


Border Regiment in the Great War

H.C. Wylly





Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-19: Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)





Massacre on the Marne: The Life and Death of the 2/5th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War

Fraser Skirrow


Reconstructs the experiences of a small closely knit group of fighting men - the 2/5th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment - in the Great War. These men were not elite regular troops or Kitcheners' Men - they were Territorials. In many ways, they were typical of the men who fought on the Western Front. Massacre on the Marne presents fascinating insights into the First World War. It gives a "warts and all" view of the often chaotic preparations and challenges of mobilising an army. It tells the personal stories of ordinary men caught up in this great conflict. The book is scholarly and detailed but also presents a gripping and engaging view of what the Great War would have been like for typical soldiers. This book is a timely reminder of the horrific conflict that is now disappearing from living memory. I thoroughly recommend it, not only for those with an existing interest in the period, but also for anyone who wants to understand the First World War from the viewpoint of the indi


History of the Cheshire Regiment in the Great War.

Arthur Crookenden


Naval and Military Press, have once again provided the military historian and researcher with an invaluable service by re-publishing this long out of print volume at the most reasonable price. It chronicles the war record of the fifteen battalions of the regiment which served on the Western Front, in Italy, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Macedonia. The large appendices will however be invaluable for researchers, as having commenced with a summary showing the totals of dead officers and other rank totals by battalions, it is followed by the nominal rolls, with officers grouped alphabetically and other ranks in their battalions. The comprehensive 56-page list of Honours and Awards, including Mentions In Despatches, is arranged alphabetically and although the ranks of the recipients are not given, the citations for the VC, DSO, MC and DCM awards are. The final appendix, entitled `Mobilization', is useful too as it briefly provides the story of each battalion before it went overseas


Hearts & Dragons: the 4th Royal Berkshire Regiment in France and Italy During the Great War

Charles R. M. F. Crutwell


The story of a territorial regiment, the 4th Royal


Fourth Battalion the Kings's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) and the Great War

W.F.A. Wadham & J. Crossley





History of the Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment in the Great War

H.C. Wylly





History of the 1st and 2nd Battalions: The Leicestershire Regiment in the Great War

H.C. Wylly





Invicta: With the First Battalion The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment in the Great War

C.V. Molony





History of the Black Watch in the Great War

A.G. Wauchope





East Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War 1914-1918

Everard Wyrall





Digging Up Plugstreet

Richard Osgood and Martin Brown


The compelling story of the Australian soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division who journeyed to England in 1914, and who fought and died on the Western Front during the First World War. Using archaeology as the vehicle for their story, Martin Brown and Richard Osgood follow in the footsteps of the 'Aussies', from their training on windswept Salisbury Plain to the cheerless trenches of Belgium, where they 'dug-in' north-east of Ploegsteert to face the Germans. It presents a unique window into the world of the men who marched away to fight the so-called 'war to end wars
More information on:

Digging Up Plugstreet




Letters from the Trenches: A Soldier of the Great War

Bill Lamin


Harry Lamin was born in Derbyshire in 1877 and left school at thirteen to work in the lace industry, but by December 1916 he had been conscripted into the 9th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment and sent to war. Harry's letters home to his family describe the conflict with a poignant immediacy, even ninety years on, detailing everything from the action in battle to the often amusing incidents of life amongst his comrades.Throughout the letters, Harry's tone is unwaveringly stoical, uncomplaining and good-humoured. "Letters From The Trenches" is a fitting tribute to the unsung heroes of the Great War who fought and endured and returned home, and the one in six who did not. The letters describe the war through the eyes of those who really lived it, bringing the horrors and triumphs to life for the twenty-first-century reader. Edited by Harry's grandson, Bill, "Letters From The Trenches" tells the moving story of a brave, selfless and honourable man who endured everything that the war


Pillars of Fire: The Battle of Messines Ridge, June 1917

Ian Passingham


Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we shall certainly change the geography.' So said General Plumer the day before 600 tons of explosives were detonated under the German positions on Messines Ridge. The explosion was heard by Lloyd George in Downing Street, and as far away as Dublin. Until 1918, Messines was the only clear cut Allied victory on the Western Front, coming at a time when Britain and her allies needed it most: boosting Allied morale and shattering that of the Germans. Precisely orchestrated, Messines was the first true all-arms modern battle which brought together artillery, engineers, infantry, tanks, aircraft and administrative units from a commonwealth of nations to defeat the common enemy. So why is its name not as familiar as the Somme, Passchendaele or Verdun? General Sir Herbert Plumer, perhaps the most meticulous, resourceful and respected British general of WW1, is also unfamiliar to many. This book examines the battle for the Messines-Wytschaete Rid


Ghosts on the Somme: Filming the Battle, June-July 1916

Alastair H. Fraser, Andrew Robertshaw and Steve Roberts


The Battle of the Somme is one of the most famous, and earliest, films of war ever made. The film records the most disastrous day in the history of the British army - 1 July 1916 - and it had a huge impact when it was shown in Britain during the war. Since then images from it have been repeated so often in books and documentaries that it has profoundly influenced our view of the battle and of the Great War itself. Yet this book is the first in-depth study of this historic film, and it is the first to relate it to the surviving battleground of the Somme. The authors explore the film and its history in fascinating detail. They investigate how much of it was faked and consider how much credit for it should go to Geoffrey Malins and how much to John MacDowell. And they use modern photographs of the locations to give us a telling insight into the landscape of the battle and into the way in which this pioneering film was created. Their analysis of scenes in the film tells us so much about th


From Messines to Third Ypres: A Personal Account of the First World War by a 2/5th Lancashire Fusilier

Thomas, Floyd


the story of just a few weeks between May 1917 and July 1917 as experienced by a subaltern of the Lancashire Fusiliers. It is a detailed account where personalities and small events seem to fifi ll its pages to become tellingly signififi cant-whole lifetimes seem to pass in months. Life in the trenches is recorded with all its dangers, tragedies and discomforts punctuated by lighter moments, as we share the inexorable build-up to the big attack and the fury of war that changed and ended lives in minutes. This is a first rate, intimate and personal account of the Western Front warfare the British infantry knew.


History of the 51st (Highland) Division 1914-1918

F.W. Bewsher


The Highland Division was one of the pre-war Territorial divisions. Its HQ was in Perth with brigade HQs in Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling. On mobilization the division moved down to its war station in Bedford where it remained, carrying out training till embarking for France in May 1915. During this period six of its battalions were sent to France, three in November 1914 and three in the following March, replaced by two Highland battalions and a brigade of four Lancashire battalions; it is not clear whether the latter were required to wear kilts. They were transferred to the 55th (West Lancashire) Division when that division reformed in France in January 1916 and were replaced, appropriately, by Scottish battalions. It was in May 1915, just as the division arrived in France, that it was designated 51st and the brigades 152nd, 153rd and 154th; by the end of the war the 51st (Highland) Division had become one of the best known divisions in the BEF.


History of the 9th (Scottish) Division

John Ewing


The division’s record is graphically described in this history - what Field Marshal Lord Plumer in his foreword referred to as “a record of wonderful development of fighting efficiency.” There are useful appendices giving the Order of Battle, command and staff lists with the various changes; a table showing periods spent in the line, with locations; a table of battle casualties and the VC citations. The maps are good with adequate detail for actions to be followed.



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