The Old West Country Regiments – From Plassey to the Somme (11th, 39th & 54th) by Jeremy Archer
The Old West Country Regiments comprises a series of accounts, all relating to the former county regiments of Devon and Dorset, that draw extensively on original sources. The most important events in the history of these regiments haw been examined in far greater detail than would have been permitted to a regimental historian, from whom rather more even coverage would quite rightly have been demanded. A number of rather obscure, but extremely worthy, individuals have been brought to the fore. How did they live and fight? How were they rewarded? What did they feel about the great events in which they took part?
The wide-ranging accounts embrace the early Jays of the British Indian Empire, the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic, First Burma and Crimean Wars. The regiments were also involved in the colonisation of both South Africa and Australia. We read of a terrifying struggle by troops to save a burning transport in the Indian Ocean and the searing experiences of the Zulu War and the Siege of Ladysmith. The scene then shifts to the pioneering days of air warfare and the slaughter that was the first day of the Somme, before ending with tales of Regimental life in India during the 1930s.
As a result of this deep research, The Old West Country Regiments is a totally satisfying piece of military history, superbly complemented by lavish illustrations.