Steep Roll of Honour 1914-1918, by David Erskine-Hill

Steep Roll of Honour 1914-1918, by David Erskine-Hill

Book published privately by the author in 2017, 124 pages. Large A4 size softback (N8082X2)

From the foreword: The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War in August 2014 was marked by a spate of national events, including a special service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey and the moving display of ceramic poppies mounted at the Tower of London. The terrible loss occasioned by the conflict was such that nearly every family in the land was touched by it. The war memorials located in our cities, towns, villages and hamlets remain a sobering reminder of that loss.

Hampshire has many such memorials and, as far as David Erskine-Hill is able to ascertain, the first one to be formally dedicated in the county was at Steep, near Petersfield. The names of the men on this memorial are the subject of this Roll of Honour. David has written a compelling record of their lives, in my opinion a model of its kind; it is professionally researched and supported by extensive reference sources.

It is a roll reflecting the losses of just one village in Hampshire but the story that emerges contributes to our understanding of a wider picture, for it is a story that repeated itself across the land. In respect of Steep's fallen the resultant statistics are shocking, among them the fact that six pairs of brothers from the village made the ultimate sacrifice.

A multitude of military reference sources aside, David quotes some illuminating extracts from the columns of the now defunct Hants & Sussex News. In respect of the non-commissioned ranks this is particularly informative for, as is well-known, the majority of their service records were destroyed by enemy action in the last war. He also acknowledges the work of a group of local volunteers who have been transferring church and school records to an accessible database...

The book is illustrated throughout with lots of colour and black and white photographs.

The condition of the book is generally very good. The covers have one or two minor scuffs and blemishes but are clean and bright, the spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.