There are two words which should instantly recommend this title to anyone with even a passing interest in Birmingham during the First World War, and those words are "Terry" and "Carter". Terry's 1997 work on the Birmingham Pals remains a staple ingredient for anyone with an interest in Kitchener volunteers, pals battalions or Birmingham and this new publication in Pen & Sword's "Your towns and cities..."series is the ideal complement as it looks at Birmingham in the first 18 months of the war at a time when the pals battalions were recruiting and training. There are useful chapters on the 1st Southern General Hospital, Belgian refugees in Birmingham, HMS Lusitania, HMS Birmingham, the expansion of the Territorials and, of course, the pals battalions. One of the better books in this series, I would suggest, and well worth the £14.99 investment. Anything less should be considered a bargain.