Defending Leicestershire and Rutland


Celtic Saints of Scotland, Northumbria and the Isle of Man


Texans at Antietam: A Terrible Clash of Arms, September 16-17, 1862


Rochester to Richmond: A Thames Estuary Sailor’s View


Politics, Society and Homosexuality in Post-War Britain: The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 and ...


RAF Acklington: Guardian of the Northern Skies


History of the de Havilland Vampire


The Everyday Life of the Templars: The Knights Templar at Home


Crime and the Craft: Masonic Involvement in Murder, Treason and Scandal


Chitral 1895: An Episode of the Great Game


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Defending Leicestershire and Rutland

Product no.: 978-1-78155-578-1
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  • A survey of the military landscape of Leicestershire and Rutland based on fieldwork and documentary evidence
  • The text provides the social, political, historical and military contexts for the military landscape of Leicestershire and Rutland
  • Illustrations demonstrate the wide range of structures, which make up the military landscape of Leicestershire and Rutland
  • Appendices supplementing the text with comprehensive detail on specific classes of monument such as airfields


Leicestershire and Rutland have seen the movement of armies from Roman times to the Civil War with the decisive battles of Bosworth and Naseby and many others. The Victorians saw the development of both the regular and volunteer forces, which would later fight in two world wars. The development of military flight was a twentieth-century theme, witnessing defence against Zeppelins in the First World War; jet engines and US airborne forces in the Second World War; and elements of Britain’s nuclear deterrent during the Cold War.

During the Second World War, the eavesdroppers of the ‘Y’ Service at Beaumanor Hall provided much of the raw material for Bletchley Park’s codebreakers. Evidence of this activity is visible in the landscape: castles of earthwork, stone or brick; barracks and volunteer drill halls; airfields, missile sites and munitions factories; pillboxes, observer corps posts and bunkers.

Defending Leicestershire and Rutland places sites and figures such as William the Conqueror, Richard III and Cromwell into their social, political, historical and military contexts.

THE AUTHOR

Mike Osborne’s interest in fortification began with childhood visits to castles. It has developed over the years to include all aspects of the topic from iron-age forts to Cold War bunkers. He was a volunteer-co-ordinator for the Defence of Britain Project recording the military structures of the twentieth century. After a thirty-year career in education, he took early retirement and since then has produced nearly twenty books. Topics include Civil War sieges and fortifications, drill halls, twentieth-century military structures and the best-selling Defending Britain.

FORMAT

234 x 156 mm - paperback - 208 pages - 119 black-and-white photographs
 

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Celtic Saints of Scotland, Northumbria and the Isle of Man

Product no.: 978-1-78155-601-6
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  • Unlike most books on the subject, the author examines the places the saints lived and worked using archaeological and historical evidence
  • Written by a leading authority of British saints with nine books to her credit
  • Superbly illustrated with the author’s own photographs
  • Written for the general reader with an interest in the historical evidence behind the lives of these saints


Most books about Celtic saints are based on their legendary medieval lives. Celtic Saints of Scotland, Northumbria and the Isle of Man focuses on the sites where these early Christians lived and worked. Archaeology, combined with early inscriptions and texts, offers us important clues, which help us to piece together something of the fascinating world of early Christianity.

The book is illustrated with the author’s own evocative photographs of the sites where the Celtic saints of north Britain worked and prayed. The reader is therefore drawn into the beautiful world that these men and women inhabited. Celtic Saints of Scotland includes accounts of most well-known saints and less famous individuals. It is not, however, exhaustive: lack of historical data means that there are hundreds more Celtic monks and nuns, of whom we know little beyond their names. The book is easy to read with an introduction and maps to pinpoint the sites described and photographed.

Since it is both readable and fully illustrated, it will appeal to anyone interested in history, landscape or spirituality, and to tourists in Scotland, Northumbria and the Isle of Man. Based on sound scholarship, it will also be of value to students of history, religion and culture.

THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Rees is a Roman Catholic nun with a Master’s degree from Oxford. She is one of Britain’s leading authorities on the Celtic saints in relation to the sites where they lived and worked. For this, she has travelled extensively in the more remote Celtic regions. She lectures on Celtic Christianity at venues around Britain; for seven years, she was a guest lecturer at the Centre for the Study of Religion in Celtic Societies at the University of Wales, Lampeter. She also runs a House of Prayer in rural Somerset. Rees’ first book for Fonthill Media was Celtic Saints of Wales.

FORMAT

234 x 156 mm - paperback - 240 pages - 108 black-and-white and 24 colour photographs

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Texans at Antietam: A Terrible Clash of Arms, September 16-17, 1862

Product no.: 978-1-62545-022-7
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  • Foreword by Ted Alexander, the head historian of Antietam National Battlefield
  • Contains many photographs of the soldiers who fought at Antietam, including flags flown by Hood’s Texas Brigade during the battle and contemporary photographs of the area
  • Compiled for the first time, the soldiers of Hood’s Texas Brigade and other Texans give their memories of the bloody battle of Antietam in 1862
  • Features a map that shows where the regiments of Hood’s Texas Brigade fought and the movements of the Union Regiments on 17 September from 6.45 a.m. to 8.00 a.m.


The soldiers in Hood’s Texas Brigade who fought at Antietam on September 16-17, 1862, described intense and harrowing experiences of the fierce battle in the days, weeks and decades after the battle. Their experiences were written in official reports, diary entries, interviews, newspaper articles, and letters to families at home.

These memories provide a fascinating and descriptive account of the battle against the Union Army of the Potomac at Miller’s Cornfield, the Dunker Church and other locations at the battlefield. The 1st Texas Infantry at Miller’s Cornfield would suffer an 82.3 per cent casualty rate and their heroics were written down by the soldiers of the 1st Texas Infantry.

All the other regiments of Hood’s Texas Brigade would suffer over a 50 per cent casualty rate at the battle. Included are testimonials of Union soldiers who fought against the soldiers of Hood’s Texas Brigade are included together for the first time in Texans at Antietam: A Terrible Clash of Arms, September 16-17, 1862, by Joseph L. Owen, Philip McBride and Joe Allport.

THE AUTHORS

Joe Owen is a member of Hood’s Texas Brigade (Reactivated), the Austin, Texas Civil War Round Table and co-author of Texans at Gettysburg: Blood and Glory with Hood’s Texas Brigade (Fonthill Media).

Joe Allport is a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and a seventh-generation Texan. One of his ancestors was a captain in the 1st Texas Infantry.

FORMAT

234 x 156 mm - paperback - 272 pages - 31 black-and-white photographs

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Rochester to Richmond: A Thames Estuary Sailor’s View

Product no.: 978-1-78155-620-7
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  • A book for lovers of sailing amongst salt, marsh and mud
  • A passage not made within the pages of a book since the 1920s
  • Beautifully illustrated with modern images from the water interspersed with old prints
  • Rochester to Richmond is of love and enthusiasm for an unknown side of the River Thames


People say that Nick Ardley is an eccentric, an anachronism from a simpler age, for the way he sails his clinker sloop around the Thames estuary, wending amongst the tide-riddled marshes to drop anchor where the fancy takes him.

In Rochester to Richmond: A Thames Estuary Sailor’s View, Ardley has a clear plan: a reflective journey between Rochester and London, a path once of commerce, but now pleasure. Rochester was of immense importance to Britain’s past trading richness too.

The belching chimneys pouring acrid fumes and cement dust have evaporated. Oil refineries have slipped away, but wharves lining the banks remain alive. As a distraction, he wanders a little above Rochester and then again, a little above the Pool of London towards Richmond. Between, he lands amongst the marsh and mud, finding graves and farmsteads enveloped in purslane and lavender.

Many towns sailed past were part of this heritage, supplying building materials and food carried by the tan-sailed barge to London. Ardley dips and dabbles into these communities and explores how they have transformed.

THE AUTHOR

Nick Ardley was born in 1955 and brought up on a Thames spritsail barge. One of four children, he and his siblings soon became the crew. His working life was spent as an engineer officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Upon retiring, Ardley fell into writing, being asked to tell his childhood story. He now writes avidly about his love and enthusiasm of sailing amongst the rivers and creeks around the Thames and its estuary discovering its industrial history. His wife, Christobel, and ‘mate’ in his yarns, has grown to love the saltings too.

FORMAT

248 x 172 mm - paperback - 240 pages - 106 black-and-white photographs
 

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Politics, Society and Homosexuality in Post-War Britain: The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 and ...

Product no.: 978-1-78155-624-5
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  • An in-depth and comprehensive examination of the Act of ’67, which changed how society viewed homosexuality
  • Extensive use of primary and period sources, which present the reader with greater detail on the subject than ever before
  • A large number of period photographs, many of which have not appeared in print for over 50 years


The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 was ground-breaking in the UK and Politics, Society and Homosexuality in Post-War Britain: The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 and its Significance marks the fiftieth anniversary of its successful path to the statute book.

The act was not without controversy and was fiercely fought over by the likes of Mary Whitehouse and right-wing reactionary Tories who in typical style fought to impose their narrow-minded blue-rinse views. Now, in 2017, Western Europe leads the way in LGBT rights.

Thirteen out of the twenty-one countries that have legalised same-sex marriage worldwide are situated in Europe; a further thirteen European countries have legalised civil unions or other forms of recognition for same-sex couples.

This civilised state of affairs was not always the case and in this book, Keith Dockray charts in a short and pithy manner the difficult path the Bill followed and records those who supported it and were against it.

THE AUTHOR

Keith Dockray was formerly a senior examiner in medieval history and early modern history at the University of Huddersfield. He has written extensively on fifteenth century history and appeared in numerous television documentaries, including the Channel 4 ‘courtroom’ programme The Trial of Richard III.

FORMAT

235 x 165 mm - paperback - 96 pages - 78 black-and-white and colour photographs

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RAF Acklington: Guardian of the Northern Skies

Product no.: 978-1-78155-622-1
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  • Based on original and unpublished records and documentation
  • Superbly illustrated with many photographs never seen in print
  • Appendix with detailed list of all units based at RAF Acklington


At the beginning of the Second World War, RAF Acklington was the most important fighter station in north-east England. It initially started life in 1938 as a training base for RAF aircrews but with the outbreak of hostilities against Germany, it was given the role of protecting the skies over Newcastle and its important industrial heartland.

Its Spitfires and Hurricanes were soon in action against Luftwaffe bombers and many of the earliest raids of the war took place over this part of Britain. Due to the importance of this region with its major ports and industries, it continued to attract the attention of enemy bombers long after the Battle of Britain had been won.

By late 1940, most attacks took place after dark and RAF Acklington became the host for night fighter squadrons. Unlike many military airfields, it did not close when hostilities ceased. Initially, it reverted to its training role but in 1957, it again became the base for fighter aircraft. The airfield spent its last years as 6 Flying Training School but due to defence cuts, it became surplus to requirements and closed completely by the early 1970s.

THE AUTHOR

Malcolm Fife is a professional photographer with a strong interest in history. His first published articles were illustrated features for the Scots Magazine. This was followed by his book The Nor Loch-Scotland’s Lost Loch, a history of the body of water that once existed underneath Edinburgh Castle. After this, he wrote a number of publications on individual airfield histories followed by an account of Scottish aerodromes in the First World War. British Airship Bases of the Twentieth Century is Fife’s first book for Fonthill Media.

FORMAT

248 x 172 mm - paperback - 288 pages - 106 black-and-white photographs
 

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History of the de Havilland Vampire

Product no.: 978-1-78155-616-0
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  • A wide-ranging history of the Vampire throughout its 46-year service history with the RAF, Fleet Air Arm and twenty-nine foreign air forces. A story that is of interest to aviation historians and those with a fascination in early jet aircraft, which also includes a new lease of life on the Warbirds circuit
  • Comprehensive appendices covering serial allocations, production, export details and preserved airframes
  • Gloriously illustrated throughout with a varied and interesting selection of images, many previously unpublished
  • Throughout its career, the Vampire collected many notable firsts: the first jet fighter to cross the Atlantic, the first to land on an aircraft carrier, and the first jet trainer in which students qualified for their ‘Wings’


The de Havilland Vampire was the second of the RAF’s first-generation, post-Second World War jet fighters to enter service. It began life as an interceptor but was soon retasked in the day fighter/ground attack roles with the 2nd Tactical Air Force in Germany from 1948 to 1954 and with the RAF’s Middle and Far East Air Forces. Throughout its 46-year career, it collected many notable firsts: it was the first jet fighter to cross the Atlantic; the first jet to land on an aircraft carrier; and the first jet trainer on which student pilots qualified for their ‘Wings’.

In addition to playing a full part in the RAF’s order of battle during the 1940s and 1950s, the Vampire also served with the Fleet Air Arm and became an export success story for the British aircraft industry with hundreds sold to air forces worldwide. For a brief period during the 1950s, the Vampire formed the backbone of the RAF’s night-fighter force and between 1952 and 1967, the Vampire trainer was responsible for a steady flow of trained pilots for the RAF, Royal Navy and foreign air forces.

This comprehensive history covers the Vampire’s development and operational service. It has been written with the full co-operation of the manufacturer, MoD, RAF and other world air forces, mixing narrative and technical detail with vivid personal accounts from those involved with the aircraft. Comprehensive appendices include technical specifications, production details, serials and export details. It is also lavishly illustrated and includes more than one story of encounters with UFOs by RAF Vampire pilots.

THE AUTHOR

David Watkins is a former member of the RAF and a keen aviation historian. His previous books include A History of RAF Chivenor, The de Havilland Vampire and Venom, 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron, RAuxAF and A History of RAF Aerobatic Teams From 1920.

FORMAT

248 x 172 mm - paperback - 384 pages - 316 black-and-white photographs
 

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The Everyday Life of the Templars: The Knights Templar at Home

Product no.: 978-1-78155-373-2
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  • Previously unpublished descriptions of Templar properties in England and Wales, with details of their farms, tenants and employees
  • Pictures, plans and maps of many Templar houses
  • An insight into how the Templars lived in western Europe
  • Accessible and insightful reading for historians and the casual reader


The lives of the medieval Templars seem hidden and mysterious. Helen J. Nicholson reveals their everyday world set out in early 14th-century records. The records of the Templars’ estates show us how they operated, the men and women who worked for them on their lands and houses, their tenants and the people who owed them money.

We can see what animals they kept, from warhorses to plough animals, with cattle, pigs and flocks of sheep. The accounts record fields of grain or hay, meadow and woodland, mills and fishponds. Drawing on these records, along with archaeological evidence and the Templars’ own regulations, Nicholson sets out to reconstruct how the Templars lived from day-to-day.

The Everyday Life of the Templars: The Knight Templars at Home is a fascinating insight into the everyday lives of these pious men, who were not powerful nobles or great churchmen, yet held great influence in medieval Europe.

THE AUTHOR

Prof. Helen J. Nicholson teaches at Cardiff University and is a leading researcher on the history of the Knights Templar and Hospitaller. She has written several books on the Templars, including Knight Templar (2004) and A Brief History of the Knights Templar (2010), and has published a new edition and translation of the records of the Templars’ trial in Britain and Ireland, The Proceedings Against the Templars in the British Isles (2011). She is currently studying the early 14th-century records of the Templars’ estates in England and Wales.

FORMAT

234 x 156 mm - hardback - 192 pages - 41 colour illustrations
 

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Crime and the Craft: Masonic Involvement in Murder, Treason and Scandal

Product no.: 978-1-78155-621-4
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  • Masons involved in murder, treason, conspiracy and scandal
  • Jack the Ripper and Freemasons: the full facts revealed for the first time
  • Kenneth Noye: what was his involvement in Freemasonry?
  • Masons and the development of forensic science
  • Does your lodge’s history contain crime or scandal, a hero or villain?


Crime and the Craft: Masonic Involvement in Murder, Treason and Scandal reveals the Freemasons who have been involved in murder, treason, skulduggery and scandal from the time of the English Civil War to the 1980s. Nearly every infamous case investigated by Scotland Yard, including Jack the Ripper, Oscar Wilde, Dr Crippen, the Great Train Robbery and Kray twins, is shown to have Masonic involvement for good or bad.

For the first time, it is shown that sixty lodges have a link to Jack the Ripper with a known suspect identified as a Mason. Masonic involvement in police corruption, from the Trial of the Detectives in 1877 to Operation Countryman, is uncovered. The true involvement of gangster Kenneth Noye is also revealed as are details of the Mason making secret signs at the judge during a murder trial at the Old Bailey.

This fascinating book for the Freemason and historian also describes how members of the Craft have been pioneers in the development of forensic pathology, fingerprint evidence and the use of images to catch criminals. Ultimately, Crime and the Craft answers the question: ‘Is there a relationship between Freemasonry and crime?’

THE AUTHOR

Mike Neville is a Freemason who belongs to many Masonic orders and a retired Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector. He is an expert on the history of the Craft and crime. Neville is also world renowned for his ability to catch criminals with CCTV using ‘Super Recogniser’ officers. Consequently, he travels the world assisting police forces and giving lectures in lodges. He is the author of Sacred Secrets: Freemasonry, the Bible and Christian Faith, holds the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Army Cadet Force and is the national training officer for music.

FORMAT

234 x 156 mm - paperback - 400 pages - 98 black-and-white photographs
 

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Chitral 1895: An Episode of the Great Game

Product no.: 978-1-78155-618-4
Cover price £25.00
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  • The first major in-depth examination of the Chitral campaign for decades
  • Written in a lively manner as if the author witnessed events for himself
  • Extensive use of primary and period sources, which present the reader with greater detail on the subject than ever before
  • A large number of period images and maps, many of which have not appeared in print for over 100 years


In 1895, a small Indian Army garrison, commanded by Surgeon-Major Sir George Scott Robertson and Captain Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend, was besieged by a Chitrali and Pathan army at the fort of Chitral. Despite the odds heavily stacked against them, Robertson’s beleaguered little garrison held out for forty-eight days until a relief expedition was able to fight its way through to the rescue. The siege and subsequent relief is a story of valour, including an award of the Victoria Cross, and sheer determination in the face of a stubborn adversary and sometimes extreme weather conditions, all played out on the mountainous terrain of the north-western border of British India.

Robertson described events in Chitral as a ‘minor siege’. However, the siege and subsequent relief should be viewed as an important episode in Britain’s ‘Great Game’ with Russia, which would have serious consequences for the British several years later. Indeed, the retention of Chitral by the Indian Government would be a contributing factor to the mass uprisings along the North West Frontier of India during late 1897.

THE AUTHOR

Mark Simner has been interested in British military history since childhood, having widely read and researched the period of 1700 to 1945. In 2007, he setup the incredibly successful Victorian Wars Forum, which was followed by the equally popular Napoleonic Wars Forum in 2011. His first book, An Illustrated Introduction to the Battle of Waterloo, was published in May 2015 and he has since written a number of other titles and articles. Pathan Rising: Jihad on the North West Frontier of India 1897-1898 was Simner’s first book for Fonthill Media.

FORMAT
234 x 156 mm - hardback - 224 pages - 61 black-and-white illustrations

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