Monday, 15 September 2014

'Swansea in the Great War' - where can you buy it?

'Swansea in the Great War' is now in print (paperback, 224 pages and 200 images) though copies are currently sitting in a warehouse in Barnsley, home of Pen and Sword Books...

I understand that it will start to appear in the local bookshops in early October. Pen and Sword books don't usually seem to appear in W.H. Smith for some reason, though Waterstones do stock them. It'll be with the on-line book sellers too, at what price I don't know.

I'll be selling copies in the Civic Centre, Swansea (County Hall) between 13.15 and 16.30 on Wednesday 22 October, first come, first served (contact me via this site if you wish to reserve a copy or copies for collection on the day).

The book retails at £12.99 but I'll be selling it for £10.

I'll also be selling the book for a tenner at the Swansea Local History Book Fair at Swansea Museum on Saturday 25 October 2014 between 10.00 and 16.00. Again, first come, first served and get in touch to reserve a copy...

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Long, Long Trail...

‘The Long, Long Trail’ was a popular song of the Great War era.
I have been travelling down my own ‘long, long trail’ for over a year now though the end is finally in sight. Today the ‘final’ proofs of ‘Swansea in the Great War’ arrived in the modern manner – no longer sent as large pages via Royal Mail but now as a low-res PDF attachment to an e-mail!
The main task is to check that the page numbers inserted into the index actually match the page numbers that the index entries appear on. So a small, but important, part of the process.
I plan to turn that around in a day or two after which its back to the publisher’s and then off to the presses for an early October publication! Phew!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Here endeth the Blog...

This blog was set up to gather interest and information relevant to Swansea in the Great War, as I researched for a book. As the finished work is now with the publisher (prior to publication in October 2014) the need for the blog has essentially passed. Any new information is, I'm afraid, too late for inclusion on the publication though please contact me with your stories - they are always of interest.

For that reason there will be very few updates appearing here until the book comes out.

You can see more about me at:

And I also have this site under development...

Feel free to get in touch with any information or comments!

Bernard Lewis

Monday, 2 June 2014

First proofs received...the checking commences.

The first proofs for 'Swansea in the Great War' arrived from the publisher today and I (and my wife!) need to check them very carefully. Even with modern day computer techniques there is plenty of room for error when e.g. the images are inserted into the text for the first time. The images obviously have to appear in the right places and accompanied by the right captions - not alway as easy as it sounds in a 228 page document!

After the first proofs are checked they go back to the publisher for correction and then the second and final proofs come back to me so that I (yes, I) can complete the index. Getting published is an enjoyable if hard slog!

Book launch in October 2014!

It has been confirmed that 'Swansea in the Great War' will be launched at the Civic Centre in Swansea before an invited audience on 22 October 2014. Both the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan and the Lord Mayor of Swansea have indicated that they will be in attendance, with the Lord Mayor kindly providing light refreshments for guests.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Great War Swansea - TV documentary

I have been contracted to act as adviser/researcher to BBC Wales for its forthcoming documentary on Great War Swansea.

I met with the producer this week and, as part of the contract, I am providing the Beeb with material from my forthcoming book, Swansea in the Great War, which will be published in October 2014. The documentary will be fronted by Eddie Butler and will be a half hour in length.

The BBC will also be looking at issues that I may not have covered though I suspect that my content will save them a lot of digging in the archives!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Interest in the Great War centenary...

Unsurprisingly the amount of interest in the centenary is rising fast. In recent years I have given the occasional talk on the Swansea Workhouse or the Swansea Pals to local history societies.

In the next 12 months or so I am giving talks on Swansea in the Great War at Swansea Museum (twice), two libraries in Swansea, Swansea U3A, Newton WI, the Bynea and Llwynhendy history society, Blackpill History Society, Swansea Probus Club, Neath U3A and one or two others...

I don't charge a fee for local societies (Swansea/Neath area in the main) but instead ask for a modest donation to a local charity of my choice.

Hopefully the high interest will translate into book sales once 'Swansea in the Great War' hits the shops in October! I don't suppose JK Rowling is trembling in her boots, though...

Saturday, 19 April 2014

First public talk...

I gave my first public talk on `Swansea in the Great War` to the Oystermouth Historical Society on Thursday. Good turn out and the talk seemed to go down well as two attendees booked me for a talk to their organizations.

I didn't charge a fee but accepted a donation for a local charity. And they kindly gave me a bottle of red! More talks booked for the coming months...busy time ahead and book to be published early October.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Media interest..?

BBC Wales have commissioned two half hour programmes, each one to focus on a Welsh community in the Great War. One of the towns is Swansea and I have been approached to see if I would want to contribute to the programme in some way.

Production begins in early May and is estimated to take six weeks to complete from research to editing.

I might be able to help though, after sweating blood for a year on 'Swansea in the Great War', any efforts on my part have to be made worthwhile by the BBC. Not keen on handing over my research for a 'token gesture' on the part of the BBC!    

We'll see...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Evening Post article today...

An article I wrote a while back was re-featured today by the Evening Post as part of its ongoing Great War coverage.

It was the story of Captain John Stanley Strange and his service in the Swansea Battalion.

There will be more articles in the Post as the months go on to August 2014.



Bernard Lewis
18 February 2014 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Swansea in the Great War

Draft book now being proof read prior to publication in October 2014.

I will be contributing occasional articles on Swansea in the Great War to the South Wales Evening Post in the coming months though some of those will be stories which didn't quite make it into the book. If anyone has any queries or is interested in getting a copy of the book when published, contact me here!

Bernard Lewis
14 February 2014

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Off to the publisher!!!

'Swansea in the Great War' (81,000+ words and 243 images) goes off to Pen and Sword Books on Monday, 13 January 2014, for publication in October 2014.

Too late for new information now but if you think you'd be interested in the book please send me a message via this blog.

Feet up for a bit now!

Bernard Lewis