Leamington solicitors Blythe Liggins, a main sponsor of Warwick District Remembers, the First World War centenary concert at the Spa Centre on October 31, has joined with the Leamington Courier to give away five signed copies of a new book commemorating the Great War by two local authors.
Stolen Lives – Individual Tragedies of the Great War is a collection of short biographies of 50 soldiers (and a nurse) who were tragically killed in the Great War. In a novel approach to honouring the centenary of WW1, Sir Andrew Hamilton and Alan Reed have compiled informative and compassionate tributes to personalities whose stories provide a detailed snapshot of society before the outbreak of war and the horrors of life at the front.

The subjects are from a wide cross-section of society, from Queen Victoria’s 40th grandchild to a Belfast shipbuilding apprentice who was ‘shot at dawn’ for desertion. Some had reached the pinnacle of their careers, such as an actor, a politician and several international sportsmen; others had yet to realise their aspirations – a poet, a painter and a composer; and a number found fame posthumously as a result of their actions during the fighting, including a double VC and a black footballer. The list includes the sons of Rudyard Kipling and of Prime Minister Asquith, PG Wodehouse’s butler, one of five brothers killed, the first and last Briton to die and a 16-year-old boy.

Britain could not have played such a pivotal role without support from the Empire: an Australian VC, a Canadian allegedly ‘crucified’ by the Germans and an Indian Sikh all considered it their duty to fight for the ‘mother country’ are featured in the book – which also takes readers on a guided tour of the cemeteries and memorials of northern France and Belgium to find where the subjects are buried or commemorated.

Richard Thornton, joint senior partner at Blythe Liggins Solicitors, said: “Famous or unknown, their personal stories offer an insight into the duty-inspired patriotism of August 1914, the horrors of life in the trenches, the humour and comradeship in adversity and the effects of death on comrades and loved ones. “Each individual’s background, their life before 1914 and their reasons for enlisting are examined. Their reactions to the effects of the war and the humour and comradeship in adversity are fascinating features of the book, a recurring theme of which is the impact on families who suffered the loss of loved ones.”

The five lucky winners will also receive a signed copy of Meet at Dawn, Unarmed. Written by the same authors, the book is about the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and the prominent part Sir Andrew’s grandfather Captain Robert Hamilton played in arranging the iconic Christmas Truce of 1914, which is said to have involved a football kick-about between the British and German troops in No Man’s Land at St. Yvon in Belgium.

The book is based on the diary of Captain Hamilton and depicts the humour, comradeship and loyalty of fellow soldiers in the face of constant danger; the rain, mud and discomforts of life in the trenches; the daily fight for survival and the constant danger from shelling and sniping; and life behind the lines – the billets, estaminets and local hospitality.

Both books are available at local bookshops – Stolen Lives – Individual Tragedies of the Great War (£25) and Meet at Dawn, Unarmed (£15) – but to win a signed copy of each title answer this simple question: In which year was the famous Christmas Day football match played?

CAPTION: Richard Thornton and Sir Andrew Hamilton

Request a callback

Speak with our dedicated team of experienced experts

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

search Search Blythe Liggins

Search the Blythe Liggins website. You can search for things like; names of our team members and required services. E.g "Family Law" & "Lois Harrison"