GOD'S OWN - 1st SALFORD PALS 1914-1916
An Account of the 15th (Service) Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
By Neil Drum & Roger Dowson
Neil Richardson Publishing 2003 - ISBN 1 85216 150 7 - A4 size paperback - 83pp - £5.75
The 15th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers were raised as the 1st Salford Pals in Salford, Manchester, in September 1914. They crossed to France with 32nd Division in 1915, and moved to the Somme front. Their baptism of fire was on the Thiepval Ridge on 1st July 1916, when they were all but wiped out.
This superbly researched book looks at the story of the raising and training of the Pals. It then moves on to their first experiences in France, and concludes with their destruction on the First Day of the Somme. Throughout there are numerous references to officers and men, and many first hand accounts, both of which combine to make it a fascinating account. This first section then ends with biographies of all the casualties, many of them accompanied by a photograph and some in great detail.
The second part of the book is a complete roll of every officer and man that served with the 15th Lancashire Fusiliers from formation until 1st July 1916. It gives basic details of every soldier; some men have lengthy entries. A wonderful piece of research!
The book is illustrated throughout with black and white photographs, which have reproduced well, and many good and useful maps.
While a history of the Salford Pals was published in the Pals series by Pen & Sword in the 1990s, this account concentrating on just one battalion is far more detailed, and of far more use to anyone researching the men who served with it. It is well written, and follows the excellent example of the authors' previous publication on the 'Manchester Scottish'. I look forward very much to further publications by these two, and highly recommend this book. It adds more to our understanding and knowledge of the men who climbed the slopes of the Thiepval Ridge in the morning sunshine of 1st July 1916.
Signed copies can be ordered from the authors direct at:
Neil Drum - firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Dowson - email@example.com