Thursday 29 July 2010

The 2nd Bedfords in France and Flanders 1914-1918

Available now!  BHRS's 2010 volume is The 2nd Bedfords in France and Flanders 1914-1918 edited by Martin Deacon.

Martin Deacon receiving his copy of The 2nd Bedfords at Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service in July 2010.   The volume complements his edition of The Shiny Seventh published by BHRS in 2004.

The 2nd Bedfords is the official WWI war diary of the 2nd battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment who fought in the major battles of the war:  the First Battle of Ypres, Festubert and Loos, the Somme and Passchendaele.  Through the terse, even matter-of-fact, diary entries of the adjutant recording each day's events, we get to know many of the officers of the battalion by name and also the men, fewer named, but given their due in the desperate events.  Martin Deacon's careful research has given names to many of the men.  He has also provided several appendices to show the battalion's movements during the four years and the places of origin of the men - around two thirds from Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire.

A dozen photographs of officers and men show youths, most looking totally unprepared for what faced them.  Because appalling events were recorded as everyday occurrences, the awful conditions and the strain everyone was under gradually emerges as the diary goes on through the four years.

The 2nd Bedfords is available from the publisher Boydell & Brewer and from local bookshops (see side panel).

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