Book Review: “The Lion and the Rose: The 4th Battalion The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment 1914 - 1919”, written by Kevin Shannon.

A review of “The Lion and the Rose: The 4th Battalion The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment 1914 - 1919”, written by Kevin Shannon.

Reviewed by Nigel Marshall

This is the first of a three-volume study of the Territorial Force battalions of the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment in the Great War; this book covers the 4th Battalion of the regiment.

From the first page, to the last, the book provides the reader with an astonishing amount of detail about the battalion, its background and the men who served with it. That detail is drawn from a wealth of sources, official, newspaper, private letters and personal recollections, and Kevin Shannon has pieced these together to create a book which is prefect for the researcher and the casual reader.

This is a book which may be read from end to end, or dipped into to retrieve information, and though the detail it contains is enormous, it is not overwhelming. The narrative is clear and easy to follow.

As a book from which to plan a tour, the book has it all from precise descriptions of preparations through commentary of the fighting to analysis of the results. Locations are fully referenced, making it a simple task to map them.

The book fulfils both purposes extremely well.

My own preference would be for a few more maps, but the book lacks nothing due to their infrequent use. The maps it has are clear and uncluttered. The inclusion of comprehensive endnotes and a very impressive bibliography, show that the research that has gone into this book has been painstaking, producing a book that is solid in its worth to the researcher.

In a limited word-count review, it is difficult to adequately describe this book, but it is an excellent addition to the library, and a worthy tribute to the men of the battalion.

The book closes with an index which could almost be a nominal roll of the battalion, so many of the men are mentioned.

This is an important addition to any collection of unit or formation histories for the Great War student or researcher.

Unreservedly recommended.

Nigel Marshall

“The Lion and the Rose” was written by Kevin Shannon.
Published by Fonthill Media Ltd, 2015, Stroud.
ISBN: 978 1 78155 438 8

384 pages, including appendices and index.

Illustrated throughout with photographs and maps.

Cover price: £25.00
Widely available in bookshops and through online retailers.