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Remembered Today:

RIP Martin Middlebrook


Gareth Davies

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Martin Middlebrook has died aged 92. 

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Sorry to read this. His First  Day On the Somme and the Kaisers Battle are seminal  books. A good speaker and a house guest who was brilliant with children. 
The day I sat my nursing finals exams back in January 1985, I treated myself to afternoon tea and purchased a copy of the First Day. When I met Mr Y, we had a lot of duplicate books and gave loads away, but I’ve never been able to part with my old copy! 

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R.I.P.

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Sorry to hear this, great speaker.

 

Andy

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Really sad news.

R.I.P. 

Gary.

Edited by 17107BM
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Very sad to hear this news. I went on my first ever battlefield tour with Martin Middlebrook. He was such a knowledgeable man and a great guide. I remember sitting in a cafe with him in Arras as I did not want to go down the tunnels - claustrophobia. We had a lovely chat over coffee and crepes. Did several trips with him afterwards. RIP Martin.

Sue

 

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A very influential historian and author that brought the war into schools and collages during the 1980s in a very popular and easily digested way. Along with Lyn Macdonald and other similar authors, they contributed tremendously to our popular understanding of the war. RIP

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Very sorry to hear this; like many others, no doubt, I found his work very informative and accessible.

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RIP Sir, the author of one of the most influential WWI books of the last 60 years as a well a fine legacy of work on subjects as diverse as the Allied Bombing Offensive and the Argentine view if the Falklands War.

For those interested, he also left this fascinating account of the genesis of his interest in WWI and the writing of his first book -an amazing insight into conducting research and getting a publishing deal in the pre-digital age:

 

MARTIN MIDDLEBROOK - The Writing of The First Day on the Somme (hellfirecorner.co.uk)

 

Regards

 

Paul.

 

 

 

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Like Sue above I toured the battlefields with Martin on several occasions and got to know him a bit. I too had a wide ranging and very entertaining evening in a bar in Arras in which amongst other things he waxed lyrical about the first time he saw Marilyn Monroe on screen. One of my other favourite memories is of Martin blagging his way into the officers club in Verdun and gatecrashing a leaving do for a French medical officer which ended up being a lot of fun due in part to opening champagne bottles in a very non standard way.

He knew his stuff about the battlefields too. Whenever I visit Mansel Copse I try to walk across to the Gordon cemetery across the road and visit what we always call Martin's six subalterns. It's not the only place I will think of him, as it was his descriptions that first illuminated so many.

Pete.

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Very sad news, his 'The First Day on the Somme', is still, in my opinion, the best book on the battle.

Mike.

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10 hours ago, Fattyowls said:

Like Sue above I toured the battlefields with Martin on several occasions and got to know him a bit. I too had a wide ranging and very entertaining evening in a bar in Arras in which amongst other things he waxed lyrical about the first time he saw Marilyn Monroe on screen. One of my other favourite memories is of Martin blagging his way into the officers club in Verdun and gatecrashing a leaving do for a French medical officer which ended up being a lot of fun due in part to opening champagne bottles in a very non standard way.

He knew his stuff about the battlefields too. Whenever I visit Mansel Copse I try to walk across to the Gordon cemetery across the road and visit what we always call Martin's six subalterns. It's not the only place I will think of him, as it was his descriptions that first illuminated so many.

Pete.

Far too few people bother to walk down the road to GC.

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11 hours ago, Fattyowls said:

 One of my other favourite memories is of Martin blagging his way into the officers club in Verdun

On one trip with him he took along a post-WW2 RASC 2/Lt`s BD which he said was his own worn during National Service. He swapped it in a deal with some French gent. Like many, I owe a lot to him and his enthusiasm.

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He did things before others did, very special. I was there when he met John Terraine who had come to see him give a talk on the First Day of the Somme. At the end the rest of the room sat and listened to the two of them discuss the Somme, still gives me shivers now.

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Sorry to hear this news. Martin was guilty of starting my interest in WW1 with The First Day on The Somme.

Richard

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have only just learnt this sad news. I was advised to read 'The First Day On The Somme' by my History teacher in the mid-90s. I suspect it was the first book on the First World War that I read (other than those aimed at children). Reading it as 14/15 year old was an incredible experience. Middlebrook's work and 'With A Machine Gun To Cambrai' both enthralled me at that time. Maybe it was my age but it still ranks with the finest books I have read, both fiction and non-fiction. In May, I am taking my son to the Somme for the second time. He was a baby when we first went but is now eight. Middlebrook's work is very much one of the reasons we will be there.

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RIP Mr. Middlebrook. And thank-you for all you have done to keep the memories alive of all those who fought and died for the peace we have experienced.

 

Jim

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Never met him, but have a great respect for him. May he meet many of the "old uns" in that great unknown up there. RIP Martin:poppy:

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