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The Hood Battalion

The Royal Naval Division, of which the Hood Battalion formed part, was raised at the beginning of the First World War and was made up of officers and men of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, stokers of the Royal Fleet Reserve and seamen of the Royal Naval Reserve. Its 'father' was Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty; Mr Asquith, the Prime Minister, christened it 'Winston's Little Army'. It was quite unlike any other formation in that these were soldiers who adhered to all the traditions and the practices of the Royal Navy, or if you like, sailors who went to war as soldiers. The Hood Battalion also attracted numerous officers of the highest calibre, among whom may be mentioned 'Oc' Asquith, the Prime Minister's son, Patrick Shaw-Stewart, said to be the most brilliant young man of his generation, Bernard Freyberg, and, most famous of all, the poet Rupert Brooke, who was to die so tragically in a foreign field. The Hood Battalion saw some of the fiercest fighting of the First World War, particularly at Antwerp, in the Gallipoli Campaign and then again on the Western Front at the Ancre, at Gavrelle, and at Passchendaele. Len Sellers, whose interest in the Hood Battalion was first aroused when he discovered that his great-uncle had served with them, lets the participants tell their own story, having expended prodigious labour in unearthing the many first-hand accounts of the Hood's exploits included in this book. It is indeed a tale told by heroes.
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About the Author

Leonard Sellers was born in 1945 in Woking. Upon moving to Leigh-on-Sea he was educated at Belfairs High School. Leaving school, he joined a firm of Lloyds brokers in the City of London, later becoming a broker on the floor of Lloyds. Looking for a more exciting life at the age of 21, he joined the local Southend-on-Sea Constabulary until its amalgamation with the Essex Force in 1969. He has worked as a divisional crime prevention officer and lectured on the subject. He now works as a station sergeant at Southend Divisional Headquarters.

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