By Graham Maddocks
(Pen & Sword, 288 pages, £16.99) This book, first published in 1991, and now republished in paperback, tells the history of the men who joined the local regiment in th he early days of the Fir rst World War. TheT Liverpool Pals s were drawn from the city’s s commercial classes, and have the proud d distinction of being the first of the northern Pals battalions to be raised in 1914 and the last to be stood down.
They fought through all the major battles on the Western Front from the Somme onwards. Indeed all four battalions covered themselves in glory on the fateful day itself.
Graham Maddocks wrote one of the first studies of a Pals’ battalion, although many more have subsequently been published by Pen & Sword and others. It remains a classic of its kind, partly because the author was able to meet many former members whose memories bring this book alive. He also clearly describes the actions that the battalions were engaged in. It is well illustrated, although it has to be admitted the reproduction is not what it should be. Even so it remains an important book, particularly if you’re researching men who served with these units during the First World War.
Simon Fowler is a professional
writer and history researcher