on 6 July 2014
Having finally brought together all the memorabilia of my father's experiences in WW1 - as a private in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in the Worcestershire Regiment and finally as a pilot of Sopwith planes - I discovered this detailed account of the battalions formed by the thousand of Birmingham men who volunteered to fight in the first few weeks.
It is extremely well researched yet presented in a very readable format. I have it on Kindle, so the photos aren't always clear. I am reading it with my father's telegrams and postcards beside me; it all fits with the general account. I thought I would skip the bits pertaining to the battalions dad wasn't in, but have found that it is so gripping that I have to read every word. I am almost living every day with him. This is amazing as he always avoided speaking about it, except funny bits in training, for example. I am quite amazed that he survived.
If you have a family member of the Birmingham Pals, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I just wish I could find something similar that deals with his later experiences.
Originally published in 2007 in a rather unwieldy large-format softback typical of the "Pals" series produced by Pen & Sword, this is a truly welcome reprint of one of the very best unit histories. Terry Carter trawled the archives of his native city of Birmingham for many years in researching for this book, which covers the whole war as experienced by the three Birmingham City Battalions. Their story is similar to that of many "pals" units, but their most significant introduction to the realities of the Great War came not on 1 July 1916 but just over three weeks later, when they took part in attacks near High Wood. A terrific piece of work, highly readable, brilliantly illustrated - and a fine tribute to the Brummies who fought. This hardback version is a much more durable and shelf-friendly artefact than the original and if I have a gripe at all it is the continued absence of an index.
on 18 June 2012
This is a splendid publication that is packed to the hilt with a combination of interesting information and superb photographs, therefore making it a must buy for anyone interested in the Birmingham City Battalions who served during the Great War under the title of The Birmingham Pals. This title was originally published some years ago, however this hard back edition is a much more handsome and in my opinion a better investment as it is more durable and easier to read than the earlier publication which was produced in the larger format! The list of Gallantry Awards and the detailed Roll of Honour will be appreciated by family history researchers and medal collectors alike. Therefore,all in all excellent value for money volume and a very welcome addition to my library.
on 26 July 2016
A fascinating insight into the history and activities of the Birmingham Pals Battalions. Similar, I'm sure, to all those other Battalions formed to keep friends and neighbours together during the Great War. It was especially interesting to follow the timeline in the book and visit those towns and areas where the Battalions served. My grandfather was in the 16th Battalion and was one of those to survive. So many didn't.
The author has also been most kind in providing me with a little more information about my grandfather. Sincere thanks.
on 1 July 2014
I must confess an excellent book,more so for those who are exs who served with the regiment,which includes myself,along with my great grandfather,who was on those front lines,but such a waste of life at the end of the day,is my only comment on it