‘The History of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment’ by Warwick author Mark Smith is the first book to combine the entire history of the regiment into one single volume.
With this year being the centenary of the First World War, Bi-centenary of the defeat of Napoleon at Toulouse and 75 years since the D-Day landings, it is more important than ever to remember the sacrifices that soldiers throughout the ages have made.
The regiment served in some of the worst locations during the First World War including Ypres, the Somme and Gallipoli.
The book carefully charts the movements of the regiment from its founding in Holland to its eventual merger in 1968 into the Fusiliers. Every engagement is explained in the context of the wider war to explain why the regiment was where it was and what its role was.
The book would be of interest to family historians and fans of local and military history.
One of the interesting stories from the book is of Hannah Snell – a woman who disguised herself as a man to join the army during the Jacobite uprising to try and find her husband.
Another involves Lt-Col Hobbs – a commanding officer who threw himself overboard after being summoned to a disciplinary hearing after atrocities carried out in Jamaica, 1865.
And Lt -Col Elkington – a commanding officer drummed out of the regiment during the First World War and went on to join the French Foreign Legion and win the Medale Militaire and Croix de Guerre.
It is Mark’s second local history book and follows his 2008 book – ‘Where Peacocks Pace – A local natural historian’s guide to Warwick’.
Inspiration for the book came from research first made during the authors A-level history course when he studied the regiment’s misfortunes during the retreat to Dunkirk in the Second World War. When he found his old notes he began to wonder what else the regiment had done in its long history and before long another book was in the offing.
Trained as a scientist Mark Smith works as a senior science technician at Aylesford School and Sixth Form College. The book was published through the self-publishing website www.lulu.com