Richard Foster, Editor
I tried to track down a copy of William A.T. Aves’ book ROD – The Railway Operating Division on the Western Front a couple of years ago, and it was impossible. I tried leading railway bookshops, Amazon and even ebay, but I drew a blank on all fronts. I managed to borrow a copy from longtime Model Rail contributor Robert Forsythe and was immediately impressed with this scholarly work on Britain’s railway contributions to the First World War. When I saw Mr Aves’ next work, WD – Supporting the British Expeditionary Force, I didn’t want to miss out and ordered a copy straight away: I wasn’t disappointed. Another masterpiece, this book tracks the delivery, use and post-war history of the locomotives shipped to France by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in 1939. This often-overlooked piece of British railway history is hugely fascinating to both railway historians and to students of the Second World War. There’s not quite so much locomotive variety – the BEF only received 79 ‘Dean Goods’, eight LMS 350hp diesel shunters and eight LMS ‘Jinties’ before the fall of France in 1940 – but this is a hugely inspirational book. Combined with the works from R. Tourret, and Colonel David Ronald and Mike Christensen’s three volumes about the Longmoor Military Railway, I feel I need to add a military railway to my list of layout project builds!
Modelling hours: Four hours Note to self: If you see a William Aves book for sale, buy it now!