Set out topographically, it covers everything from the famous battle sites of High Wood and Mametz Wood to obscure villages on the outlying flanks. The British first began to take the Somme sector over from the French Army in June 1915. From this time onwards they built up a very close bond with the local population, many of whom continued to live in local villages close to the front line. The author draws on the latest research and analysis, as well as the testimony of those who took part, to present all aspects of a battle that was to become a symbol of the horrors of the Great War.
Gerald Gliddon ,bookseller,publisher turned author published his first book, 'When the Barrage Lifts',in 1987. It is a topographical history of the Battle of the Somme and its publication was greeted with great acclaim and its current updated edition is entitled 'Somme 1916: A Battlefield Companion',.Over the next fifteen years this work was followed by the appearance of eight books of the thirteen volume ' VCs of the First World War' series. This comprehensive and popular series was followed by the 'VCs Handbook:The Western Front 1914- 1918'.
Other books by Gerald Gliddon include 'The Aristocracy and the Great War';'Legacy of the Somme' a bibliography,'Norfolk & Suffolk in the Great War', and joint authorship with Tim Skelton of 'Lutyens and the Great War'.
At the present time the author is working on the revision and updating of the final two volumes of the VCs of the First World War series of which 'The Road to Victory 1918' has recently been issued in paperback. 'The Final Days 1918' is due to be published in June this year and 'The Sideshows' is down for August. In addition it is hoped that a box set of all thirteen volumes in the series will be issued in November.