The internet is a wonderful thing. I use the internet frequently for both research and publishing my writing for Defence of the Realm. But the problem with the internet is that often a lot of what you are looking for is lost among the more common pieces of information out there.
Books have the advantage of just presenting you with information which you can then pick and chose what you want to read. Now, I am not a technophobe by any stretch of the imagination but I think both books and the internet can work together to produce results.
Where am I going with this?
Well, this weekend I found myself at a car boot sale in Bridgend. Usually, I wander car boot sales looking for old Sega or Nintendo games but walking past a guy with a few things sprawled out on the floor I found the above collection of magazines. There seem to be plenty of magazines about the Second World War onwards but very little about conflicts before 1939 so naturally I was intrigued. I asked the guy selling the how much he wanted for the lot and he said, “Chuck me 3 quid and you can have them.” I wasn’t about to turn that down and so I took them home.
It was then that I discovered just what it was I had purchased with just a bit of change in my pocket. This incredible series of magazines was published between 1938 and 1939 and features first hand accounts from the men (and a few women) who were there at the front between 1914 and 1918. I couldn’t believe what I had. For someone like me with an interest in military history this was priceless. Just a quick browse through revealed stories of the war I had never heard of before written in a very personal manner. My only regret is that the collection is incomplete but consists of 12 issues that I am sure will no doubt prove a vital resource for my research.
I look forward to working through them and exploring these stories.
Sometimes, luck is smiling on you.