Author, John Hartley’s grandfather Tom Brough served with mine in A Company of 17th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.
John is an expert on many aspects of World War 1, especially the Manchester Regiment; having published a book on the 6th Battalion previously and compiled a great timeline website on HELLFIRE CORNER – The Great War – Manchester Regiment. John’s new book concerns the 17th Manchesters: A History of the Battalion and the Men Who Served with it in the Great War: John Hartley.
The book reflects the endeavour and attention to detail that has occupied John’s interest for many years. Part 1. provides a history of a Battalion from formation and training to ferocious battles on the Western Front. The numerous anecdotes, personal accounts and newspaper extracts bring the whole story together. This produces an excellent account of the life and times of a Service Battalion in the War. Part 2. of the book includes profiles of men who are known to have trained with the Battalion. This enables the reader to understand the nature, background and sometimes thoughts of men in Service Battalions.
The book should appeal to local & social historians. Students of the Great War will find numerous other examples of resources showing the history of individual Battalions or units. John Hartley’s detailed profiles almost 1,000 of the ‘…ordinary men who came together to undertake extraordinary acts…’. The book is therefore somewhat exceptional and insightful of people and events almost a century ago.
John’s research provides some extra anecdotes on Arthur Bell’s III Platoon that would add depth to this site. However, if my visitors want to see more, they must buy John’s book or borrow it from a library. I don’t think it would be right to add this data (even with full acknowledgement), particularly when this amateur site has similar paths to a proper author’s work.