‘Norfolk Coast in the Great War’ by Stephen Browning. Pen and Sword, paperback, £12.99
Available in good bookshops, including Jarrold, Waterstones, leading independents and online at Amazon, Blackwells, Foyles, WH Smith and all usual suspects.
I have been talking about the book at History Societies, Norfolk Libraries and, a great first for me, at a Retirement Home. Future talks include to the Rotary Club and the Western Front Association. If your club or society would like me to come along, please do contact me as below.
‘Norwich in the Great War’
I have previously written ‘Norwich in the Great War’ published by Pen and Sword in January 2016. I am thrilled to say that it has received a great review from Dr Giovanni Timmermans of the Western Defence Association, especially about the research undertaken for the book. Also, national review site Books Monthly calls it ‘Superb’ and the Army Rumour Service ‘Excellent’.
The new release, ‘Norfolk Coast in the Great War’, has the following features:
- It is the first ever study of its kind, ie a ‘sweep’ around the Norfolk Coast during the years of conflict 1914-18.
- It uses material from original sources never published in book form or at all.
- While covering important events overseas – particularly with relation to Norfolk men – it also describes the joys and disappointments, highs and lows, subjects of everyday conversations, entertainments and general life of those who lived on the vulnerable coastline.
- There are some wonderful tales to tell: Kings Lynn, cordite and conkers; the pioneering work on the cliffs of Hunstanton that had a crucial bearing on the outcome of the war; the bravery of the greatest of the life boatmen, Henry Blogg of Cromer and his crew; the incredible war service of the Rector of Stiffkey, Harold Davidson, sometimes known as the ‘Prostitutes’ Padre’, who ended his life being mauled to death by a lion; the story of Tom Crisp, VC, who, despite having the bottom part of his body shot away by the guns of a U-boat, kept command of his fishing skip; the antics of the Red Baron off the coast (until he lost his life following a battle with a Sopwith Camel aircraft which was probably made by Boulton and Paul in Norwich); the pioneering work of ‘the first woman war photographer’, Olive Edis, from her studio in Sheringham; and a great many other stories.
- The text covers places previously comparatively or completely neglected, those discussed including: Norwich, Kings Lynn, Sandringham, Hunstanton, the Burnhams, Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea, Stiffkey, Cley, Holt, Weybourne, Sheringham, Beeston Regis, The Runtons, Cromer, Happisburgh, Caister, Sea Palling, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston-on-Sea and Harwich.
- For each section of the coast, the details of a few men who lost their lives are given. It is intended in giving details of the few to honour the many who never made it home or to the history books.
- There are over 180 photographs, many of them archive and rare. Of particular interest to many will be the ‘then and now’ photos, eg of Sheringham High Street in 1914 contrasting with one taken today.
- The book concludes with an itinerary for a 46 mile walk along the Norfolk Coast from Hunstanton to Cromer, in sections or all at once. In great parts of this walk, the vista has not changed at all in 100 years.
Please do not hesitate to contact the author for more details, interviews or a signed copy of the book: Stephen Browning
SOME REVIEWS SO FAR
It is early days but some reviews have come in. Here are four extracts – firstly, from the Fire Project:
The publisher produces a number of fine series that provide valuable insights into history… This new title is a delight and representative of the high standard achieved by the series. The text is built on thorough research and is very ably supported by a host of illustration – Very Highly Recommended.
The next three are from Amazon – all five stars out of five:
Altogether this is a fascinating book which has resulted from endless hours of research, research and yet even more research. The final result is well worth all that effort and provides an extra chapter to the history of this corner of Norfolk to add to that which we thought we already knew. Ned Middleton.
Wonderful. A delightful book crammed full of pictures and insights. The Great War should have ended all wars. Stephen Browning yet again has researched heavily bringing to life what life would have been like in Norfolk during those years. Whilst it centres on the Norfolk coast no historical library would be complete without its presence. An excellent read. Mr Mikawber.
This book is Amazing bought it has a gift my husband loved it so much he kept it. Now I have to buy another one but I can’t get one bummer. Maureen Canty.