ARmy Rumour SErvice

Review: Last Train to Waverley by Malcolm Archibald

Set in The Great War this book sees Lt Douglas Ramsay of 20th Bn The Royal Scots heading back to his Regiment after being wounded.  He arrives at the front line the day before the 1918 German offensive which pushed the Allies back for miles before they held, pushed back and defeated the Germans.  The story tells how this small group of survivors is cut off and starts to make their way back to British Lines.  Ramsay leads this small group of men through mud, blood and bullet, and as the book opens with him strolling in the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh in 1919, we know from the start that he survives, but with abiding, vivid memories. Read more ›

Review: Scotland’s Shrine by Duncan Macmillan


The Scottish National War Memorial.

Located in Crown Square, at the very apex of Edinburgh Castle is a purpose built Memorial to the Scottish casualties of World War One and then subsequent wars.  This is a magnificent building replete with memorial bays for Regiments and Corps and intricate artwork in the form of statues, bronze plaques and stained glass windows.  Macmillan has brought us an up to date history of the Scottish National War Memorial (SNWM) with the Foreword to the book being written by Her Majesty The Queen.

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Review: Britain’s Lost Regiments by Trevor Royle

“The Illustrious Bands of Brothers Time \Has Forgotten”

Governments have, from the beginning of time, cut their army to the lowest they think they can get away with.  No different today and the last tranche of defence cuts saw the virtual disappearance of the County Regiment.  Royle has therefore looked at the Regiments that are no more and brought us a potted history of 30 of these Regiments which have disappeared from the British Army OrBat since The Great War.  Read more ›

Review: The Selkirk Trilogy by Malcolm Archibald

The Trilogy consists of Soldier of the QueenHorseman of the Veldt and Selkirk of the Fetham. The Story of a Scottish soldier’s war in Africa .

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Surviving the Nazi Onslaught: The Defence of Calais to the Death March for Freedom By Carole McEntee Taylor

Ted Taylor, 1st Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, was sent to France in May 1940 as part of Calais Force.


Initially sent to open up supply lines to the rapidly retreating BEF, they soon found themselves defending Calais against the might of the 10th Panzer Division. Outnumbered by at least three to one they held out for 4 days until they ran out of ammunition and were forced to surrender. Read more ›

Review: Prince Charles_HRH’s guide to Great Britishness.

Thankfully His Royal Highness has found time to write and produce this magnificent guide to what being British is all about. Essentially, in a nutshell and to precis, it’s mostly about not being French.

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Review: Bognor in the Great War by Clifford Mewett

This is another in the series of books covering towns and cities during the First World War. It follows a different format from the first book I reviewed in this series (about Hove and Portslade). In that book each chapter covered a theme. This book on Bognor in the Great War is arranged in chronological sequence. The introduction and first two chapters cover events immediately before the war. There are then five chapters covering the war; one each for 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918. The final four chapters then cover events after the war. The result is a very readable book.

The First World War broke out in August 1914. It is easy to forget this was also the height of the holiday season and this popular seaside town was thronged with visitors. The first chapter describes how the holiday making broke off and those in the town’s military hastened off to rejoin their units. Read more ›

Review – A Century of Warfare with 9 Squadron: Gordon Thorburn

9 Squadron is one of the oldest squadrons in the RAF, being formed in December 1914. With the exception of a brief period between 1919 and 1924 – when the squadron was disbanded – it has been in continuous existence ever since. The squadron has operated a huge variety of aircraft. During the First World War it flew B.E.2c’s and R.E.8’s; one of its commanders being Hugh Dowding, the victor of the Battle of Britain. During the Second World War if flew Wellingtons and Lancasters, while post war aircraft have included the Canberra, Vulcan and Tornado. There is thus quite a story to tell.

The book is a bit of a hybrid. The first eight chapters cover the history of the squadron from 1914 up to 1940. A further eight chapters cover the experiences of the different aircrew trades, the ground crews and some escape and evasion stories. The final of the seventeen chapters covers the post war years up to the present day. Read more ›

Review:Kruger Kommandos & Kak by Chris Ash

K K &K sets out to try and debunk some of the Boer war myths. In the book Ash sets out to right the wrongs of other (and often more experienced) historians.

There were some undoubtedly pro Boer  sentiments written by Afrikaner  revisionists who must have made unlikely bedfellows with left leaning anti Imperialists.That, however is all part of the broad spectrum of writing on world events. Chris Ash sets out to set the record straight as he sees it. There are some good debunking items including the myth of the British inventing concentration camps. Read more ›

Review: Manchester In The Great War By Joseph O’Neill

This book is one of several short publications on cities throughout the country concentrating on life for the folk left at home when their loved ones had answered the call and volunteered to fight for King and Country.

As we know there is a vast amount of books on the subject of the Great War and there has been a great number of programs on the TV this year acknowledging the centenary of the start of this tragic episode in our history. This book is different however. As the title illustrates its main objective is to describe life in Manchester during these dark times. Read more ›


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