This book, lovingly compiled, is a forensic examination of the names on a school memorial tablet. The school, King Edward V11, in Kings Lynn gave up many of its former pupils in the Great War. The author, Chris Dixon, has clearly dedicated years to the project. It certainly shows in the range of photographs form home and abroad; in the seemlessly woven-in references from local newspapers; and in the fascinating details from the school magazine.
It really is essential reading for those interested in the segue between military and social history. Aspects of the squirearchy appear to exist in some of the battalion details, though I was surprised that this school in an essentially rural location, should have propelled troops throughout the rank structure of the British army, as well as through a range of regiments.
The book is helpfully organised, by sector, in 14 clearly formatted chapters, and there are nearly 60 names closely examined.
The association with the Gallipoli landings is profiled, and the author provides a useful overview of the theatre of operations. The macro and micro view was helpful, and well observed.
The sacrifices made in WW1; the vast sacrifices, are made clear by the fact that this is a single school. The reader begins to appreciate that the roll of honour in King Edward V11 school is reflected in thousands of others throughout the commonwealth. This text is a snaphot; yet comes to typify what must have been, and remains, a sadly common reality. A welcome addition to the published material on the Great War
I obtained a copy of this work for the small cafe I work in in scotland, as i have links with the school, and it is one of the most consistantly and closely read on our small bookshelf, with customers frequently asking where they themselves could aquire a copy. I had no idea that this book could be such a rewarding read and conversation starter when I got it...who would have thought that military history gets the chicks!?!
Mr Dixon deserves all kudos in preparing this small but perfectly formed volume, which fits comfortably into almost any social situation.
One of the most profoundly moving texts I have ever read. As simple as that. For military historians and the lay reader alike, Dixon's prose is enchanting, educational and above all moving. Fans of this author will not be disappointed.