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** AVAILABLE NOW **
THE WESTERN KENNET VALLEY IN THE GREAT WAR
By Roger Day

'The Western Kennet Valley in the Great War' can be ordered at all good bookshops.

This profusely illustrated work will be the first major study of the military impact of the Great War on the towns and villages of the western Kennet valley. During the early years of the War the British Amy increased massively in size and literarily hundreds of new companies were formed. Because of this rapid expansion it was impossible to accommodate and train all the units at existing depots and as a consequence many were quartered in provincial towns, such as Hungerford and Marlborough. This book also looks at the local Volunteer Force (First World War equivalent of the Home Guard), which is examined in some detail, as is the role of the regions three VAD Red Cross Hospitals that were largely staffed by local women and provided convalescing soldiers with comfort and support as they recovered from illness or injury. The surrounding countryside also had to adapt and several military sites were established on the Marlborough Downs, such as the Army camp at Chiseldon, the RFC aerodrome at Yatesbury and a PoW Camp at Ramsbury. Many miles of practice trenches were excavated in the downland chalk by the Army's new and inexperienced recruits and route marches of twenty miles or more a regular feature of their training. This study also includes the stories of nine men from the region who went off to fight giving the reader an insight into army life at home, as well as service on the Western Front.

 

For more details please contact the webmaster

LOOK, DUCK AND VANISH
by Roger Day

Dozens of Home Guard veterans and others who grew up during this period have been interviewed by author, Roger Day, in preparation for his new book about the history of the Marlborough Battalion of the Wiltshire Home Guard. The Battalion covered a large area and included many of the villages surrounding the town. Much previously unpuplished material about the defence of Marlborough during WWII has been included giving a unique insite to the wartime history of the town - price £12.95 plus £4 postage and packing (UK only)

For UK customers please make a cheque payable to 'Roger Day' and send to Roger Day, 77 Chilton Way, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0JF, UK.

For overseas customers payment can be made by clicking the PayPal link below:

Membury at War
by Roger Day

Membury is located on the Berkshire/Wiltshire border six miles north east of Hungerford and was a former WWII airfield. The book contains over 100 photographs (the majority of which are published for the very first time).

Following years of research author, Roger Day, has now completed his history of Membury Airfield. The book contains over 100 photographs, many published for the very first time, plus first hand accounts from British and American veterans who served at Membury during and just after WWII.

Price £11.95 plus £4 postage and packing (UK only)

For UK customers please make a cheque payable to 'Roger Day' and send to Roger Day, 77 Chilton Way, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0JF, UK.

For overseas customers payment can be made by clicking the PayPal link below:

 

Tonight We Die As Men
by Ian Gardner & Roger Day

The exploits of the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) have been long overshadowed by those of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion. Yet the actions of the 3rd Battalion during the D-Day landings were every bit as incredible and this is the astounding story of how, after suffering many immediate casualties on landing, the surviving paratroopers fought on towards their objectives against horrendous odds. Using fascinating first-hand accounts of the soldiers and the French civilians who witnessed the Normandy campaign, and illustrated with black and white photographs and maps throughout, the authors offer a unique, comprehensive account of the experiences of the 3rd battalion from training through to D-Day and beyond.

To accompany the book is a new DVD documentary entitled 'The Forgotten Battalion' - nine surviving third battalion veterans tell their own frank and moving stories from Toccoa to D-Day.

Hardback; April 2009; 344 pages; ISBN: 9781846033223. Price £20.00
Standard paperback edition 2010; ISBN 978 1 84908 436 9. Price £8.99

Savernake at War by Roger Day

Savernake Forest is located just to the southeast of the Wiltshire market town of Marlborough. It covers an area of about 4,500 acres, is the largest privately owned forest in Britain and during the Second World War became one of the country's biggest ammunition dumps.

This book contains many personal memories of people who lived or worked in the area and together with maps and contemporary photographs provides an absorbing insight into the storage and supply of ammunition - an important but often overlooked aspect of World War Two history.

Savernake at War is now back in stock!
Due to popular demand I have had a limited number of copies of this title reprinted.
It can be purchased from the White Horse Bookshop, High Street, Marlborough or the Hungerford Bookshop, High Street, Hungerford - Price £10.95 plus £4 postage and packing (UK only)
Alternatively it can be bought via PayPal

For UK customers please make a cheque payable to 'Roger Day' and send to Roger Day, 77 Chilton Way, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0JF, UK.

For overseas customers payment can be made by clicking the PayPal link below:

 

D-Day + 60 years by Jerome J. McLaughlin.

Jerome J. McLaughlin began researching the history of his uncle, Lieutenant Joseph J. Sullivan, in 1981. During 1944 Sullivan was a navigator with the 435th Troop Carrier Group based at Welford Park near Hungerford. He was killed during the early hours of D-Day when the C-47 in which he was flying crashed into the Normandy countryside.

McLaughlin tells the story of his uncle's crew and squadron from their activation in the United States until the D-Day operation, which he cleverly intertwines with the history of men from 'G' Company 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment who were also on board the ill fated aircraft.

The narrative contains many first hand accounts from surviving veterans giving the reader a wonderful insight into how these young men from the 77th TCS and 501st PIR felt as they went into action. The book, which is very well written and easy to read, is split in two parts. The first half tells of the loss of, and circumstances surrounding, the crash of Sullivan's C-47 whilst the second describes Jerome McLaughlin's efforts to find the crash site and the eventual placing of memorial plaques at several locations in Normandy.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to all those with an interest in US Troop Carrier or Airborne history.

Details of how to order copies can be obtained from Jerome J. McLaughlin at jmcl@aol.com

Published by Author House - ISBN 1 4184 0269 9.

Ramsbury at War by Roger Day. SORRY, SOLD OUT

This extensively revised and updated edition of Ramsbury at War contains 45 extra pages, two completely new chapters and 59 previously unpublished photographs and is available NOW.

The book tells the story of the Wiltshire village of Ramsbury and the surrounding area during the Second World War and contains many first-hand accounts from villagers and veterans, which together with contemporary reports, presents a fascinating account of life during this exceptional period in recent history.

Subjects covered include; Air Raid Precautions, the Home Guard, the Air Training Corps, Italian and German Prisoners of War and of course the Americans. A completely new chapter has been written about the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, recently featured in the TV mini-series Band of Brothers. Also included is possibly the most detailed history ever written about RAF Ramsbury. It was from this airfield, on D-Day 6th June 1944, that troops from the US 82nd Airborne Division left for Normandy in gliders towed by the 437th Troop Carrier Group and became some of the first soldiers to see action on that historic day.

 


Wings over Wiltshire by Rod Priddle - An aeronautical history of Wiltshire.

This book is by far the most comprehensive study of aviation history in Wiltshire that I have ever read. It's a mighty tome containing 396 pages, 565 photographs and 30 maps and deserves a place on every aviation enthusiasts bookshelf.

All the county's major airfields and landing grounds are covered in superb detail plus the area's many aviation related memorials.

The book costs £44.95 and can be obtained from the author at the following address: rod.priddle@freeuk.com


Colonel Doyle R. Yardley wrote “Home Was Never Like This” during his World War II military service, including 16 months spent in Oflag 64, a German POW Camp in Szubin, Poland.

Yardley, was a soldier in the 2nd battalion of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment which was based at Chilton Foliat from June until November 1942. The battalion later joined the 82nd Airborne Division and was renamed the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The 503rd was involved in "Operation Torch," America's first use of paratroopers in warfare. This remarkable undertaking (a 1,500 mile, 11 hour flight from England to North Africa) was the most hazardous airborne operation of World War II. Yardley commanded the 509th during the Invasion of Italy, the first parachute battalion used in the European war effort.

After being dropped behind German lines, Yardley was wounded and taken prisoner.

From 1942-1945, Yardley detailed his WWII experiences in hand written diaries. He wrote: "I hope to put down in black and white, in simple, frank language what the men of the battalion thought and did while overseas, in or out of combat. And how, as typical Americans, they always found something funny to do - in spite of hardships and handicaps."

This book gives a fascinating insight into the training undertaken by the 503rd whilst it was based in England during 1942 and for this reason alone is a valuable addition to any airborne historians' library.

This book costs $25 and is available through this link: http://scriptart.com/Yardley.html


'The Simple Sounds of Freedom' by Thomas H. Taylor tells the story of US paratrooper Joe Beyrle who served in 'I' Company, 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during World War Two.

Before D-Day, whilst 'I' Company was based in the English village of Ramsbury, Joe volunteered on two separate Joe Beyrle photographed in Swindon during 1944occasions to drop by parachute in to enemy occupied France and deliver gold to French resistance groups.

On D-Day, June 6th 1944, he returned once again to French soil, this time dropping with other members of 'I' Company onto the Normandy countryside just north of Carentan. He landed on the roof of the church in St. Come du Mont and a few hours later was captured. Joe did not like the idea of being a prisoner and quickly escaped only to be recaptured the following day. A German took his dog tags and uniform but was killed later in Normandy. When the body was found it was believed to be that of Joe Beyrle and was buried in a US cemetery. Joe's parents received a telegram informing them that their son had been killed in action.

Meanwhile Joe had been transported east and spent time at several prison camps in Germany before ending up at Stalag III-C in Poland. Joe's desire to escape was as strong as ever and he broke out on two occasions. The first ended in Berlin where he was interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo before being sent back to III-C. The second escape took him to the eastern front, here he joined forces with a Russian tank regiment commanded by a woman Major! Joe, who the Russians called Yo, fought along side his new 'friends' for a number of weeks, thus becoming the only American paratrooper to fight for both the USA and Soviet Union during WWII.

The book is now available priced at $24.95 and is highly recommended.


For all those interested in the 101st Airborne Division, the book 'The Story of a Soldier' by Ivan Paul Mehosky is also highly recommended.

It tells the story of the authors father Edward Mehosky who was an officer in the 3rd Battalion, 506th from 1942-45.

30 pages deal with training in England and life with the 101st at Ramsbury.

To order a copy contact Ivan at www.mehoskybooks.com


Mark Bando's latest book '101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy' is a must for all whose with an interests in this elite division.

The book contains hundreds of photographs, many published for the very first time, and countless veteran's stories.


Four books from the pen of Donald Burgett a veteran of 'A' Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. These books are beautifully written and describe in a way that only a veteran can 'A' Companies journey from training in the USA to Hitler's Eagle's Nest . 'Currahee' covers D-Day and the fighting in Normandy. 'The Road to Arnhem' deals with Operation Market Garden. 'Seven Roads to Hell' describes how the 101st held the small town of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge and 'Beyond the Rhine' looks at the closing months of World War Two.

A fantastic set of books - Highly recommended.


'Parachute Infantry' by David Kenyon Webster: An American Paratroopers Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich. Webster was a member of the famous Band of Brothers 'E' Company, 506th PIR.

This is a wonderful book. David Kenyon Webster studied English Literature at Harvard before joining the paratroopers and his command of the language shines through on every page. His description of 2nd Battalion's journey by road and rail from Aldbourne to its D-Day marshalling area at Uppottery in Devon is priceless - A great read and highly recommended.

My interest | Aviation Archaeology | Ramsbury's Home Front | Ramsbury Airfield | 101st Airborne Division | Membury airfield | 101st Artillery | The Great War
Savernake Ammo Dump | Mystery Corner | Normandy - some places of interest | Links Page | Home Page | Obituaries | Aldbourne Stable Project

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