Book review by Ann Clayton.
The Western Front Association Memorials Officer (who recently stood down from his post after a good number of years' work) has put many years of research into this most informative book. As a service to members of the Association the book is sold at cost, and is excellent value. It lists 37 private memorials to individuals, and for each one gives a location map, at least one relevant photograph, the history of the memorial and a description of the action that led to the death, and the inscription on the memorial. The different forms taken by these memorials is interesting, from simple stone obelisks to quite complex and artistically-executed sculptures. Often they are in such out-of-the-way places that without a guide book such as this they would be easily missed. Indeed, in spite of many visits to the area, for example, I have seen hardly any of the 40, but I now have, in this book, the wherewithal to track them down.
A useful aspect of Barrie's fieldwork is that he tells us, where appropriate, who should be approached for permission to cross a field or enter a wood, thus enabling us all to do the right thing with regard to landowners, something the WFA has always been careful to stress. I am sure all members will wish to purchase a copy of this well-produced and reader friendly guidebook.
[This review first appeared in the journal of The Western Front Association Stand To! Issue 56 September 1999. This and other copies of Stand To! are available to read online to members by signing in using their Member Login]
Private Memorials on the Western Front
By Barrie Thorpe
The Western Front Association 1999.
Softback, 118pp, £5.00 (including postage & packing)
ISBN 0 9535770 0 7