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Remembrances of World Wars, by Retired Marine Brigadier General Ron Van Stockum consists of the 41 columns he has written about the World Wars of the 20th Century for the Shelbyville, Kentucky Sentinel-News. It is well-illustrated. Part One, dealing with World War I, focuses upon the bloody and pivotal Battle of the Somme. The author's father, Sergeant Reginald Bareham, was one of 19,240 British soldiers killed during the first day of the battle, July 1, 1916. For his narrative of this battle, Van Stockum has relied heavily upon the accounts of his mother, Florence Bareham Van Stockum, who lived to the age of 110. Her story has been amplified by the surprising amount of detail the author has found in the archives of the Imperial War Museum and of Kings College, Cambridge in the United Kingdom and in the War Diary of Bareham's battalion. Part Two, the period between the wars, describes life in the peacetime Navy and Marine Corps and chronicles the path to World War II. In its preparation, the author relied heavily upon a Journal maintained during his first five years (1937-42) in the Marine Corps. Part Three, World War II, describes the war at sea in both the Atlantic and Pacific, highlighting the author's experiences and observations during the Marine invasions from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima. Part Four contains the stories of several heroes of these wars, including "Chesty" Puller and former Commandant of the Marine Corps, David Shoup. Introduction by Mark Wetherington, Executive Director of the Filson Historical Society in Louisville.
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