…this book is much more than the local chronicle of a grievous period on our history. For those who, so many years later, find it difficult to comprehend the vast scale of human sacrifice between 1914 and 1918, here it is in microcosm.’ – John Craven, Broadcaster.
History tells us that no community in Britain escaped the carnage of the First World War. Up and down the country, war memorials bear silent testimony to the men who went away to fight and never returned. The Lee – a village in Buckinghamshire – was certainly no different. Men from the village joined the local Buckinghamshire Territorial Battalion and went away to fight; many died serving their King and Country. But The Lee was special in a number of ways. On the eve of war in August 1914, the village itself was owned by Sir Arthur Liberty, the founder of the Regent Street store. As the Lord of the Manor he made a profound personal impact on village life and introduced The Lee Magazine, which vividly recorded the effects of the war on the community. The war was a great leveller: men from rich and poor backgrounds alike joined the colours and fate was even-handed in deciding who survived the hell of the trenches.
In addition to a full run of The Lee Magazine, the author has drawn on a wide range of archive sources that includes unpublished letters, diaries, memoirs and newspapers. For today’s reader, Fromelles 1916 affords an unrivalled insight into the life and times of an English village in the First World War – a way of life swept away for ever by the changes ushered in by the conflict. Also include are guides to the Fromelles battlefield and the new cemetery at Pheasant Wood.
FROMELLES 1916 No Finer Courage The Loss of an English Village
The Lee, a Buckinghamshire village, suffered disproportionate losses in the Great War – especially in the brutal battle of Fromelles, a forerunner to the Somme. Its losses were recorded in The Lee Magazine, run by the local Lord of the Manor, Sir Arthur Liberty, of the eponymous Regent Street store. This book contains the full run of the magazine with the tragic story that it tells. A moving memorial to the loss of an English village.