Will Pyke has got in touch with more information about his new book, which is now available to order through Amazon and Waterstones.
About the book: Bournemouth Heroes tells the story of the British Army on the Western Front in Belgium and France, 1914-18. The narrative integrates the experiences of Bournemouthians who took part in these campaigns from the initial battles of August 1914 to the Armistice of 1918 and the occupation of Germany in 1919, and sets out to assess the contribution made by a small and newly-founded boys’ grammar school to the course of the war. As the author reveals, Bournemouth School members were involved in every major battle fought by the British Army on the Western Front. There, they were involved in all of the many developments of the war, including the first use of poison gas, of flamethrowers, and of tanks. These included boys who managed to serve despite being under-age, with some paying the ultimate price for their bravery.
Having established the membership of the school from its foundation in 1901, the author began eighteen years of research using school records; a range of local newspapers from the period; files held at the National Archives, and elsewhere; information offered by contacts made through the school and through on-line forums; and through on-line archives from various Commonwealth countries. He identified 1,125 members of the school to investigate, and 674 members of the school who served, though by no means only on the Western Front. Over one hundred of them were killed, and many more wounded.
The book will be of interest not only to military historians, but also to anyone with an interest in Bournemouth, Bournemouth School, and the families from Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Dorset whose lives were changed so dramatically by participation in the events of the war.