With most of the War’s casualties being either missing or buried near to where they
fell, it became increasingly difficult for families to mourn without having a focal
point for their grief. For some of the more wealthy relatives, & these are almost
invariably memorials to Officers, a small, usually privately printed volume seemed
to be the most appropriate means of commemoration. They usually follow the same format
- a brief outline of the officer’s life before the War with the occasional school
poem, War-time letters home with some diary entries and an account of the death with
letters of commiseration from fellow officers.
In almost all cases the numbers printed were small, maybe 50 - 100 copies, being
meant for family members and for those who served with him. They vary from small
wrappered pamphlets to elaborately leather bound affairs of which that to Samuel
Underhill is probably the most famous.
A recent bibliography by Tom Donovan lists nearly 400 of these volumes but here I’m
showing just a small selection from my own collection of some 90 volumes.
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Kenneth James Balguy Addy. Priv. Pr. 1916.
2nd Lt., 1st KRRC. Killed in action nr. Vermelles,Oct 3rd 1915
Rev. Percival Arthur Hatfield.
Priv. Pr. 1919?. Army Chaplain, 10th Div., EEF. Died Mesopotamia, July 9th 1918
Frederick Vincent Hall. Priv. Pr. 1919? Flt. Lt. 210 Sq., RAF.
KIA, 15th May 1918.
Half-bound in leather from his flying jacket.
John Harold M’Ervel.
Priv. Pr. 1917. Major, 1st Batt., Kings (Liverpool) Reg. KIA, Guilliemont, 8th August
George Bleazard Cowpe.
Priv. Pr. 1918.
Lt., 6th Cheshires. KIA, St. Julien, July 31st 1917