Messines Bookshop : Military History

Where books are bought and stories told

“The Camp Baker was my great grandfather”

A returning customer revealed that one of the last books he bought from Messines bookshop had a photograph that he had not seen before of his great grandfather, a soldier/baker at the Featherston camp.

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January 21, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Too Drunk to Remember

Great grandfather fought in the British Army in the First World War and also with the White Russians in the war against the Bolsheviks, escaped out through Archangel to China and then the West Coast of the US to catch a train to New York and a boat back to the UK.  He wouldn’t talk of his war experiences but “What did he think of America?” great grandson asks, grandfather. “He was too drunk to notice,” was the reply.  Obviously great grandfather  was treating post traumatic stress disorder.

December 22, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vietnam Vets

Two Vietnam Vets walked in through the bookshop door, happy to browse and buy but also chat, even about being “bombed” with agent organge.  “I was in the cookhouse and it came all over me annd the food – bloody awful experience – and look at me now.”

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Military History in English Only!

German tourist, keen on military history, since the age of 12,  especially World War 2, bought a number of books and expressed that he only bought books by English writers because “German authors are too biased”.

December 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Parents in Arnhem

A buyer at Messines Bookshop, buys Cornelius Ryan’s A Bridge too Far and  tells me the story of her parents as five and six year old children in Arnhem when it was devastated first by the battle for the bridge and then by the destruction wrought by the Germans to punish the town and its people. Their house was destroyed but after the war it was rebuilt, although bodies of dead German soldiers had to be removed first from temporary graves.

December 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment