Cholsey's Great War Dead
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The memorial to the Great War dead in St. Mary’s church in Cholsey, a village near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, lists 41 names. Who were these people and how did they come to die? Six of the... More > 41 names remain to be identified, but for the remainder there is information about when they were born, who their families were, their occupations, their military career and how they came to die. A further 26 war dead with connections to the parish are also described.< Less
Crime and Calamity in Cholsey: Life in a Berkshire Village 1819-1919
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What was life really like in days gone by? What did local people gossip about after church or in the alehouse? As today, the news and scandal centred on local crimes, personal disasters and the... More > external changes that would affect lives. This book features some of the untold stories of the people and events concerned. They range from the spat between the vicar and his clerk in 1819, to the decimation of local men in the Great War a hundred years later. Most of the crime was minor, but the village also saw assault, rape, arson, infanticide and manslaughter. Even more common was the personal tragedy arising from sudden death, whether by disease, accident or suicide. Some of those who committed crimes were desperate, while others were more a source of gossip, such as the curate who committed adultery with the schoolmistress and absconded from the village after running up gambling debts. These and many other events are related through the fascinating personal stories of our predecessors.< Less
Karma and the Helpful Hand
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In this unusual crime novel, the action alternates between modern England and Vietnam in the 1960s. Paul, an erstwhile green activist, is going through a rough patch after the loss of his job, his... More > long-term partner and some of his ideals. Following the sudden disappearance of his wealthy brother-in-law, Robert, he reluctantly agrees to help his sister try and discover what's become of him. Gradually Paul becomes caught up in an investigation into Robert's past and a relationship with Susanna, a director at Robert's firm. Thirty-five years earlier, Bien enjoys an innocent childhood growing up in a village in South Vietnam, while his parents and relations cope with the problems of war. Meanwhile, Mike O' Connell, an American journalist, becomes increasingly disillusioned as he chronicles the horror and futility of the conflict. Slowly the connection between the two stories becomes apparent and Bien, O'Connell and modern Vietnam all put in an appearance before the final dramatic resolution.< Less
A Pattern of Virtue: The Arduous Life And Mysterious Death Of A Corporal Major In Victoria's Life Guards
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A Pattern of Every Soldierly Virtue', said Lord Longford, and so it read on William Silwood's gravestone after his violent death. Born in poverty in a tiny village in Hertfordshire, William had to... More > struggle to survive. But he was hard working and had the strength of character to rise above his roots to finally gain the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer. However, this book is not just a biography of a soldier in the 2nd Lifeguards, although this does make for a gripping personal story. Rather it is a social history of the times from William's birth in 1863 to his death in 1909, setting in stark contrast the privations faced by our ancestors against our easy life today. It also looks beyond the main protagonist, to consider the background of his parents and describe the environment for his wife and children in late Victorian and early Edwardian times.< Less
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