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Ancestry and Amalgamations in the British Army 1660 - 2008 [Hardcover]

Goff Lumley
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Partizan Press (15 Jun 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1858185920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858185927
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,656,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Efficient organisations never stand still. They remodel themselves to address deficiencies and they change to adapt to changing circumstances. The British Army has been doing this throughout it's history. Consequently, our Army's visible facets (it's Regiments and Corps) have changed over time as new units have appeared and old ones merged together. One would expect such changes to be recorded for bureaucratic and historical reasons but one would also expect them to be recorded for another reason - our emotive relationship with our Regiments and Corps. The latter were not just organised groups of men (and eventually women). They were men who were intimately involved in the turbulent history and defence of our nation at that violent and often heroic level of life or death. Such involvement breeds a sense of camaraderie and esprit de corps which imbues not only our serving soldiers but all the soldiers who have gone before. In fact, it goes even wider because there will be few families who do not have some connection with some Regiment or Corps at some time in their past even though they themselves may never have served in our Armed Forces.

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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of its Class 22 Mar 2010
For those with an interest in the lineage of the British Army and who may wonder what happened to those famous regiments whose names have disappeared, this book is without peer from the point of view of easy traceability. Goff Lumley has combined cap badge illustrations with geneological information in a form which enables the reader to trace back current regimental titles to their antecedents with the greatest of ease. There is no other one-volume work like it and I doubt there ever will be. Anthony Baker's multi-volume genealogical tables of the British Army contain greater detail but are not in the same at-a-glance format - they are also much more expensive! I cannot recommend Goff Lumley's book too highly.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By wdrenth
Though it is always nice to see a new book on the British Army, and in particular on the lineage of its regiments, my impression and opinion of this book is not very good unfortunately. I rated it 2-out-of-5 because it will appeal those with little knowledge of the British Army, and the use of badges to illustrate mergers is nice. However, for the more serious student of military history and lineage addicts the book will come as a disappointment. And given the positive critics found elsewhere on this book, my expectation were high. Actually I would have rated it 2.5-out-of.5.

One major flaw of the book is lack of context. Many books on regiments give lists of regiments with dates of raising, disbandment, mergers and amalgamations, but only few books address the issues of when, where, why and how. Thus, the introduction of Lumley is more focused on the positive aspects of regimental life and why his book is a welcome addition, but not on the British Army itself. Also, the placement of the British Army (and its history) into a more broader (European) context would have been welcomed, but that is a flaw seen by many British authors on this subject.

Another point of criticism is the omission of disbanded regiments of the 17th and early 18th centuries. These regiments fought in the wars of the League of Augsburg and that over the Spanish Succession, and were important wars regarding the coming-of-age of the British Army. In 1660, and even in 1688, the British Army was infant, a child that needed help with everything. By 1697 it had grown into an adolescent, and in 1714 it was an adult.

A third point is that Lumley seems to be a bit sloppy on (minor) details. It would have been nice when the names of pre-1751 colonels had been given in full.
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