NEW REVISED EDITION OF MY MILITARY HISTORY BOOK, "THE BANTAMS", TO BE PUBLISHED BY PEN & SWORD BOOKS IN BRITAIN IN 2009.
"The untold story of World War One" is the sub-title of "The Bantams", a recently revised military history book by Canadian author, Sidney Allinson.
"The Bantams" provides fascinating additional details to the factual but nigh incredible story of how the British and Canadian armies recruited over 50,000 tiny men who volunteered to serve as front-line soldiers. Such Bantam battalions eventually numbered over twenty units in Britain, plus two battalions from Canada. The movement spread all over Britain, particularly the coal mining regions of Wales and Northern England, then to Canada, particularly among British immigrants there.
Originally published by Howard Baker Press, London, in 1981, this revised 2008 version includes new material, and reveals disturbing new information about battlefield executions by firing squads that was only recently released from British official records long held secret from the public. It adds even more poignancy to the story of how thousands of patriotic ‘bantams’ -- not much taller than a rifle themselves -- well below the army’s 5ft. 3ins. minimum regulation height, flocked to the colours.
Canadian military historian Sidney Allinson's researches took him off on a three-year quest for information, journeying across Britain, Canada, the U.S., and the old battlefields of Flanders. He contacted over 300 survivors of the Bantams, to gather the many first-hand accounts of battle told in his book.
It also recreates the social conditions in Britain and Canada during the First World War. Patriotic fervour enabled many famed British regiments to recruit eager volunteers for bantam-designated battalions. English and Scottish Bantams fought along the Somme front, while Welsh Bantams helped win the Battle of Bourlon despite hideously large casualties. In Canada, the 216th Bantam (Toronto) Battalion was recruited within a few weeks, and the 143rd B.C. Bantams was quickly raised on Vancouver Island. Soldiers from both these now-forgotten Canadian units served at Vimy Ridge and in other later battles.
"The Bantams" has been recognized as an important new volume of original military research into the Great War of 1914-1918. Allinson served overseas in the Royal Air Force, and is a past director of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, Toronto. He now lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where he is Chairman of the Pacific Coast Branch of the Western Front Association. Contact him at: email@example.com
For a free sample chapter, go here: