No Labour, No Battle: Military Labour during the First World War (Military Historical Society) Paperback – 1 Dec 2014
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About the Author
John Starling works at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham and is subject matter expert on small arms design. He had 30 years service in the Pioneer Cops/Royal Logistic Corps before retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Ivor Lee is a local government officer, having previously taught for over 30 years in secondary education.
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Top Customer Reviews
Spellmount are so proud of this book that they have categorized it in their Spellmount Great War Classics series. They are right do so because the research will probably not be bettered. And yet they've hardly applied classic production to the book itself which appears to come from the print-on-demand stable and has a cover so thin that my copy is already curling at the corners. I'd have also printed the book in a slightly larger format (something that Spellmount are well used to doing, glancing at some of their back catalogue on my bookshelves) and increased the point size. Maybe they should employ slightly older sub-editors with slightly failing eyesight; or maybe I should just get some glasses. Either way, I'd have willingly paid a few pounds more to have a more durable and accessible edition. What they've done is taken Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, painted it orange and put in plastic seats. It's a great shame because the content is first rate and frankly, I'd have expected more from Spellmount.
The content gets a five star rating from me, but the production gets one star. The authors should feel peeved.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
'the authors give us the first comprehensive account of a forgotten service, the British “Labour Corps,” troops and civilians who performed a remarkable variety of non-combat missions such as hewing timber, digging and filing in trenches, bringing in the harvest, working on transport and supply, performing security duty in rear areas, and more. The corps was recruited from men unfit for combat duty, whether by preexisting conditions or due to wounds. Although most of these men –ultimately numbering some 400,000 – were British or from the Dominions; there were also Indians, Fijians, West Indians, and many others from the colonies; and many “foreigners” such as Serbs, Russians, Chinese, Macedonians, and so forth; even German prisoners-of-war. While they were mostly away from the front, some of these men came under fire and even engaged in combat and took casualties. The authors give us a look at the politics of the Labour Corps (example: Was a colonial treasury or the British treasury responsible for pensions?), the recruitment, training, and organization of the many different types of Labour Corps units, service in various theatres, demobilization, and even how to search for someone’s service records. In looking at the army behind the army, the authors have made a valuable contribution to the literature of Britain in the Great War.'
For the full review, see StratgegyPage.Com
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