With The Guns 1914-1918

A Subaltern’s Story by Stanley Foxall and John Jones

A continuation of the successful Images of War series, this book takes a slight departure from the rest by being considerably more personal than others in the series. There are many old photo albums knocking around but not all of them are good to form the backbone of a book and those that are command a very high price, especially at auction.

  This book is a good example of a quality album focussing on one man’s career during the First World War, namely Harold Cooper Bebington who served as an RFA officer. The book is broken down into nine chapters titled, The Photographer; The Training of an Artillery Officer; Harold Bebington and the Doctor; In Flanders 1917; Plymouth and Convalescence; New Postings; They Also Served; The Other Side of the Wire and Bebington and the Gunners – Farewell to all That. Good quality photographs throughout with informative extended captions make this an excellent snap shot into the life of one man during the Great War.


From the back cover:-

‘Acquired at a local Cheshire auction house, several personal albums of World War 1 photographs taken by their previous gentleman owner, an officer in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) called Harold Cooper Bebington. He was also a member of one of the early amateur photographic societies at his home town, hence explaining their excellent quality and his interest in taking them, although possibly against King's Regulations! They relate to his training as an officer cadet initially from 1916 in England, working with horses and field gun limbers, his commissioning, and subsequent hospitalisation in England after wounding on the Western Front. Afterwards he was posted to the then new anti-aircraft artillery and returned in 1918 to the Front. Additionally, there are period photographs of family and friends in uniform as they too went off to War, showing different regiments which make a superb uniform study to complement his story. They show the ‘home front’ aspects of army life covering officer training and medical care and recreation. The photographer himself is a classic example of the WW1 British officer who saw service and is atypical of those who answered the call and as such is worthy of remembering by having his story told.


John Jones comes from a service family and is a former soldier. From an early age he has been passionate about British military history and this is his first book. He is working on a Second World War soldier’s at present.


Stanley Foxall having previously worked in information technology, has an interest in the British Home Front of the First and Second World Wars, perhaps nurtured as a youth by the stories of relatives and family friends who lived through those periods of the 20th Century. This is also his first book.’


Highly recommended and thanks to Charlie at Pen & Sword for our review copy.  


ISBN: 978-1473860650

Price: £14.99

Pages: 120

Format: softback – 188mm x 244mm

Publisher: Pen & Sword Military

Website: www.pen-and-sword.co.uk