We’re excited to announce that The Old Front Line: The Centenary of the Western Front in Pictures is now available from Casemate!
From author Dr. Stephen Bull:
The Old Front Line is a photographic record of the Western Front created a century after the war began. It gives an idea of the campaigns and forces that shaped the landscape.
The photographs in the book are a rich mixture of modern color and period images taken during and after the war. Maps help orientate the reader to the sectors of the front and its movement over time. The volume forms both a lasting record, and a handy reference for the visitor to the major monuments and trenches.
With 192 pages and over 200 photos, The Old Front Line covers the following subjects:
1. The North: Belgium and the Coast
2. The First and Second Battles of Ypres
3. Passchendaele: The Third battle of Ypres
4. Neuve Chappelle, Loos, Arras and Vimy Ridge
5. The Somme 1916
6. Cambrai, St. Quentin and with tanks to the Hindenburg Line
7. The Arrival of the Americans
8. From Verdun to the Vosgea
To learn more about the research that went into this fantastic book, we asked Dr. Stephen Bull a few questions:
Could you tell us a bit about any history of military service in your family? In what ways was the military part of your life from an early age?
Many of my relatives fought in WW2. An uncle with the Royal Corps of Signals; an aunt at Bletchley Park; a grandfather with the Royal Naval Reserves, who collected troops from Dunkirk. My own father was an Air Training Corps instructor in London, but later did National Service with the Royal Corps of Signals, and Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.
A little further back, in WW1, a grandfather trained with the Artist’s Rifles before becoming an officer with the ‘Barnsley Pals’ – 13th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment on the Western Front. A great grandfather volunteered for Kitchener’s Army, and then served with the Royal Munster Fusiliers in Salonika being commissioned from the ranks.
What fascinates you about revisiting the past and bringing it to life in a book?
The act of ‘detection and reconstruction’, the finding of evidence and argument.
How much research did you do for the book? Can you give us some tips on this?
I’ve visited the WW1 battlefields on and off for many years and read widely also finding as many unusual or first hand / manuscript sources as possible. The taking of the photos is another real pleasure.
You can purchase your own copy of the book here.
You can read more about Dr. Stephen Bull on his website www.stephenbull.co.uk.