Sniper and Observer

The Christmas Truce Meeting between the Warwicks and Saxons

News and reviews...

Updated June 2016

Review of 'Where Are The Boys?'

Martin Middlebrook has written the best book on the First Day of the Battle of the Somme so we are delighted with his comment about ‘Where are the Boys?’: 

“A beautiful new book, describing the ‘First Day’ in an unusual and interesting way”

Martin Middlebrook
The First Day on the Somme  

Review of 'Where Are The Boys?'

‘I have been reading about the Somme for most of my life, visiting the area for something like twenty five years, and guiding people around the battlefields for nearly twenty, but Where are the Boys? has introduced me to people, ideas, places and events which were new to me. I think it will become an important and valuable addition to the “battlefield library” for new and established visitors alike.’

Tom Morgan
Hellfire Corner Great War Web-Pages

Sainsbury's short film about Christmas Truce

Andrew Hamilton and his grandfather's diary were featured in an online piece about the Sainsbury's Christmas Truce advert.

Please click onto the links below for more information:

Main advert
The making of the film
The story behind the film

Stolen Lives Authors and helpers!Meet the Team!!

The 'Stolen Lives' Team photographed at the Walton War Memorial in Warwickshire.

Left to right:  James Kerr (photography), Ruth Smith (Design), George Sayell (Maps and two chapters), Andrew Hamilton (author), Alan Reed (author), Maurice Bott (research and proofreading), Monica Ory (proofreading), Liz Bott (German translations) and Lizzie the Dog...

Recent reviews for 'Stolen Lives"...

In ‘Stolen lives’, they have raised the standard, for it is a product that puts most recent Great War titles to shame in terms of quality of materials and production, for a similar price. The book is produced on gloss paper, is full colour throughout and with a solid hard cover. It will stand handling on many a battlefield journey…. Each story is deeply researched, not only in terms of the individual’s biography but the historical context in which they died. Each is profusely illustrated with contemporary and modern photographs. They make for absorbing and sobering reading. It is a great effort that had taken several years in the compilation and a very good read. Recommended.’
Chris Baker ‘The Long, Long Trail’ website- for full review please click here 

‘This is the second book by these writers, following on from their excellent account of the Christmas Truce in ‘Meet at Dawn, Unarmed’ … it is a convenient handbook for battlefield visitors who would like to visit the graves and memorials… the book is produced to very high standards…It’s a credit to all who were involve- a beautiful object in its own right and a triumph of self-publishing.’
Tom Morgan ‘Hellfire Corner’ website

 ‘I spent much of the weekend dipping into the chapters. It is quite overwhelming. The presentation is excellent, the research is so very thorough, and you have included many of those who have had an effect on me since my own schooldays - Seeger (his Rendezvous poem is my very favourie), Butterworth, Leighton, Kipling. The stories are so poignant, and so very sad, and reinforced the absolute tragedy and loss of so many promising lives. You must be thanked for producing such a fine memory of those men and boys. Now I cannot wait to join the group of KES boys who go to the Western Front in July.’
Richard Pearson- Archivist King Edward’s School, Stratford-upon-Avon

‘A lovely book… I was delighted to read the section on Charles Bentley - the first place I turned to- and to see your very sympathetic analysis of the situation. It took me right back to the debate by his grave and I felt very pleased to have been part of the team for the defence!’  
Sue Hepburn

‘It is a beautifully designed book… Stolen Lives is packed with all kinds of fascinating information…’   Please click here to see full article.
Stratford-upon-Avon Herald 19 June 2014

‘It’s a beautiful book and so interesting.’ 
Sian Salt BBC Religion and Ethics, Salford

 ‘…as yet I have only read Nellie’s story. Yes it made me cry but I think it's wonderful…’  
Vera Sheard, great niece of Nurse Nellie Spindler

‘Thank you so much for your wonderful book… I hope it does very well as it is such a unique window into the personal sacrifices of so many, and in such an accessible and well-illustrated format… we were very pleased with your piece about Walter, but of course it is much enhanced by your layout and use of photos.’ 
Pat (Finlayson) Justad, great niece of Walter Tull

‘What a book ! Absolutely brilliant, a reward for the hard work the two of you have put in. It oozes quality and professionalism in every respect, I’m proud to have been privileged to contribute to it. It must be the best recent book on WW1 and I sincerely hope that is reflected in the sales.’
George Sayell

‘… extremely interesting and well written and researched.’

‘I do hope Stolen Lives will be widely read- the photographs are superb and you have put a huge amount of work into the book.’

TV Interview sheduled...

Andrew Hamilton has been interviewed about the Christmas Truce and festive games of football in No Man’s Land for the New York-based ‘Five Films’ Company’s programme ‘Rise as One’ to be shown globally before this year’s World Cup.

RSC uses Diary for their 2014 production of The Christmas Truce...

This year’s Royal Shakespeare Company winter show is ‘The Christmas Truce’ which will be using material from Meet at Dawn, Unarmed.

Click here to go to the RSC's website for more information on this production.

Reviews for 'Meet At Dawn Unarmed"...

Very many thanks for sending me a copy of your book. It is quite magnificent, all the more so because of the many illustrations synthesised into the text. It is more than usually interesting for a variety of reasons, amongst them the occasional appearances of both B.L. Montgomery and Bruce Bairnsfather, and, of course for another view of the Christmas Truce. .. It is a really stupendous effort.
Professor Richard Holmes

An inspiring account of something (the Christmas Truce) that's become famous down the years, but about which we knew very little. Of terrific local interest and a wonderful read. Look out for a talk by Andrew and Alan at our History Festival in September- Keith Smith of Warwick Books

The content is fascinating and packed with informative snippets of information- my type of book! You and Alan have done a great job and I for one hope it will not be your last publication.
- Dick Rayner- Norfolk Regimental Museum

An exceptional book that adds so much to our knowledge of the early days of WW1- Major Tonie and Valmai Holt

It is the treatment of the Christmas Truce that makes this book stand out- Chris Baker The Long, Long, Trail website

It’s very different to the other Christmas Trucebooks…it’s a must for the museum shop- Dominiek Dendooven, In Flanders Museum Ypres

Meet at Dawn, Unarmed certainly tells a fascinating story and I very much like the way that you have incorporated the facts and figures into such an interesting narrative in the introductory chapters.  I am delighted with the Glenalmond section and the details that you put in about William Miles Kington, WJ Locke etc.  The diaries and your notes are very interesting, in particular of course, your grandfather’s account of the Truce and his role in it.  You must be very pleased with the fruits of your research and hard work – the book is very attractive and the illustrations excellent throughout- Mrs Elaine Mundill, Librarian and Archivist, Glenalmond College, Perth

Enchanting, engaging, moving and interesting throughout- Mark Ryan, King Edwards VI College, Stourbridge

‘A wonderful book’- Birgit Freeman translator of Kurt Zehmisch’s photograph notes

I think the book is excellent, and I’m very pleased to have been involved in a small way. Mark Warby Editor of The Old Bill Newsletter about Bruce Bairnsfather

Meet at Dawn Unarmed is beautifully produced and absolutely fascinating. I hugely enjoyed reading about the Christmas Truce- Tim Woffenden International Baccalaureate History programme

A fascinating read with a very personal view of the time at the front. I wish my Grandfather had done the same. John Sturt

Please click onto the links below:

Daily Telegraph
26th December 2007


The Leamington Courier
7th Jan 2008


The Long, Long Trail
20th April 2009


The Birmingham Post
24th April 2009


The Sunday Mercury
26th April 2009


The Daily Express
Click here to download article
28th April 2009


The Mail Online
27th April 2009


Bruce Bairnsfather website
7th May 2009


BBC West Midlands (TV clip)
12th May 2009

Where Are The Boys? A book on the first day of the Battle of the Somme


Stolen Lives