Saturday 28 February 2015

No.43 Squadron - The Fighting Cocks

No.43 Squadron - The Fighting Cocks
When I was a small boy my father gave me a set of cigarette cards. He had been in the RAF during the War and like all small boys in the 1960s I made Airfix Spitfires and watched movies such as Angels One Five on television. So I pored over the cigarette cards, read the potted squadron histories on the back and stuck them all into a scrapbook.
There was one card that puzzled me. It showed what I took to be a chicken. I knew all about chickens because my Great Aunt Hilda kept a few in her large rural garden. I just could not work out why any heroic RAF squadron would want a chicken as their official badge. It was a puzzle I could not solve. Years later I realised that what I had taken to be a chicken was a fighting cock – and a most worthy symbol it was for the squadron concerned. No.43 has long been one of the RAF’s premier squadrons, and its longevity is as impressive as its combat record.

from "No.43 Squadron"
Get your ebook version here;

Friday 27 February 2015

NEW EBOOK - The Battle of Sedgemoor

NEW EBOOK - The Battle of Sedgemoor
The bloody Battle of Sedgemoor ended the Monmouth Rebellion, and for ever put paid to the idea that untrained rebels could defeat professional royal troops.
In 1685 England’s popular “Merry Monarch” Charles II to be replaced by his stern and unpopular brother James II. As James’s regime ran into difficulties, Charles II’s illegitimate son James, Duke of Monmouth suddenly announced that - contrary to what everyone had long believed - his parents had actually been married. This made him not only legitimate, but also the true King of England. Landing in Dorset, Monmouth marched inland raising men and money - though many doubted his claims to legitimacy. The Monmouth forces met those of King James at Sedgemoor in Somerset in what was to prove to be not only a bloody and decisive struggle, but also the last pitched battle to be fought on English soil.
This book follows the standard pattern set by others in the Bretwalda Battles series. The reasons for and course of the war in question are outlined, then detailed analyses of weapons, tactics and strategies are given with particular reference to this battle. The course of the battles then followed, with comment on what there is to see at the site today. Short biographies of the commanders are also given. The aftermath of the battle, its effects and importance to the progress of the war are then described.

Introduction: England’s last significant battle
Chapter 1 - Somerset
Chapter 2 - James and Monmouth
Chapter 3 - The Other Commanders
Chapter 4 - The Background
Chapter 5 - The Battle of Sedgemoor
Chapter 6 - The Consequences

About the Author
Stephen Lark is a historian of the Royal Family and its complicated family trees of the 15th to 17th centuries. He has long been fascinated by the Monmouth Rebellion, but has not previously had the chance to visit Sedgemoor. Now he has finally had the time to research the battle and the events around, discovering many little known facts that he presents here for the first time.

Sunday 22 February 2015

NEW PAPERBACK - The Grimsby Fisher Lads

The true life account of the a little known aspect of Grimsby history.
The Workhouse Fisher Lads are an integral part of the history of Grimsby and other Humber ports. Orphans and foundlings had the chance to escape the miseries of the workhouse by going to sea as apprentices on board the fishing boats. This is their story.
The earliest known Fisher Lad went to sea in the early 19th century and the system continued up to the First World War. For more than a century young boys - some only 8 years old - went to sea in the traditional sailing boats that braved the North Sea to bring back the fish that kept Grimsby prosperous. It was a brutal life.
In this book, Grimsby-born Marc Jones traces the harsh life of the Fisher Lads at sea and on shore. He details individual stories of some oustanding lads who found fortune, disaster, happiness, tragedy and even murder as they worked the boats to escape the Workhouse.

About the Author
Marc Jones was born in Grimsby and has lived in Lincolnshire all his life. He lives locally with his wife and daughter and is very active in the local community. He is a school governor, active fundraiser for local causes and a county councillor as well as standing for the Great Grimsby seat in the 2015 General Election.
Marc says “outsiders can have an unjustly negative view of Grimsby. We need those in positions of influence within the town to have and portray a much more positive view of Grimsby. It has got some cracking potential and its main asset remains the people who live here. They deserve support, investment and new ideas instead of just more of the same.
This book shows the hard-working history of Grimsby people and their willingness to overcome whatever nature or the EU has thrown at them. This centuries old town can and will have many more exciting stories to tell about the lives of those who live, love and work here. The next chapters need to be tales of success, innovation, transformation and prosperity. I truly believe this can be the case if we all pull together to make Great Grimsby a town that respects and remembers its past but works for a better future.

Get your copy HERE

Also available as an ebook

Saturday 21 February 2015

Bretwalda Author Andrew May has a new book out, and its been reviewed!

Bretwalda Author Andrew May has a new book out, and its been reviewed by Brian Clegg!

Conspiracy History - review

There are two aspects of this book that might raise a suspicious eyebrow in a potential reader. One is the cover, which is a trifle garish and reminiscent of those local history books you get on holiday in Devon. The other is the idea that, as a book about conspiracy theories, it is going to be all about topics like the Moon landings being faked and Princess Diana being murdered at the behest of the British royal family.

I can immediately allay those fears. This slim book is a solidly written collection of historical stories, many dating back several hundred years or more. The lunatic fringe conspiracy theories are mentioned in the introduction, where Andrew May does exhibit possibly excessive open-mindedness by saying that David Icke's theory that the world is run by shape changing lizards is 'probably too far fetched to be true'. But in his historical explorations, which range from ancient Egypt, through a whole raft of British and European kings and queens, to twentieth century events, he is soberly careful to distinguish what probably was indeed a conspiracy from wild speculation.

Read the whole thing HERE

Video - Book Launch - The Battle of Lewes

Video - Book Launch - The Battle of Lewes

Thursday 19 February 2015