This is that rare thing, a combination of rigorous research and writing lively enough to make the book highly readable. The contrast of the initial principled attitudes of early volunteers and of those enduring the long slog, the punishing conditions on crowded roads reduced to deep mud, the way the quality of machines fell off due to mass production, the mechanics of carrying a basket of pigeons on your back while managing a belt-drive motorcycle - you will find all these here, and much more. If anything could convince me of the validity of the WW1 historians' shift away from the emphasis on 'the pity of war,' to a recognition of participants' achievements and professionalism, it is this book.
For someone with a passing interest in the role of motorcycles in WW1, the book may seem heavy going. For me, the detail was everything and although not a book to cherry pick bits , for a concerted read, was very fulfilling. I came away with a much greater understanding of the part played by the dispatch rider, not only in delivering messages, but to the overall coherence of a large army in the field. Excellent and highly recommended.
Full of careful detail, obviously very well researched. May be a little bit too academic for readers looking for an easy read, but I thought it was worth the effort. Would have liked more period pictures though.
Still only part way through this but a fat-laden historical account of Despatch Riders, and not solely focused on World War I. Technological developments and faux pas; civilian life behind the front line; and derring do's on both sides. Very much an academic tome, but a fascinating read (so far!). Ask me more when I get to the end.