Saturday, 14 January 2017

Northampton & Frome in the Great War


Having an unplanned and extended break over the Christmas period allowed me to at least catch up on some reading - at least until the school Christmas holidays began.

In retrospect you wonder why these books which focus on a particular community during the Great War, weren't published many years ago. Having added a few of these to my own collection - including a cracker for my home city of Chelmsford - I can say that they are a mixed bag, both in terms of the subject matter - cities on the one hand, small towns on the other - and in terms of the treatment meted out by the authors. The best examples, to my mind, are those books that strike the right balance between telling us something about the community during the war, and informing us about the men and women from that community who served King and Country.

Northampton in the Great War and Frome in the Great War would both, I suggest, be essential reading for anybody with an interest in these towns. The volume on Frome has more to say about the men and women from this Somerset community, and at 184 pages long it its page count be argued to represent better value for money than Northampton which weighs in at around 140 pages. But for the military researcher, both volumes - and for that matter probably - all of the volumes in this series will be worth having on standby.

Both books have good indexes - although Frome's is the better of the two - and both volumes also acknowledge local archival resources which is always encouraging to see.

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