The First and Last of the Sheffield City Battalion written by John Cornwell and published by Pen and Sword Books.

This book brings together the contrasting lives of Vivian Simpson and Reg Glenn, and have been written together in this new book. The book takes us from the beginning with the two men signing up to the Sheffield City Battalion in the very same building when it was launched during WW1. The reason for writing this book was because the author had bought Vivian Simpson’s Military Cross Medal and some letters written by him. He Sheffield City Battalion lost a great number of men during the war. Vivian Simpson had been the first to join up and was an ideal suit as this middle class man who happened to be a footballer/sportsman at the time and now a solicitor’s clerk. Reg Glenn was also a clerk at the Education Offices and whereas Vivian had been determined to join up, Reg joined up on a whim during his lunch hour. Now whilst I don’t want to ruin the end this is an important story about life serving your country and what life is like after the war.

It is a fascinating tale of two lives which in many ways will be very familiar as so many people joined up to fight in the war, many for different reasons and expecting to have differing outcomes. This is an excellent book, well written and researched and it was so interesting to read the stories about two similar men at different ages and how they saw life and the war in the same battalion. A very good 4 star book.