The First World War as a living history is to all intents and purposes over. As of February 2009 there were only two veterans from six million alive who served on the Western Front. Richard has spent the last 20 years interviewing and carefully recording the memories of over 270 veterans and this book is a culmination of his 20 years of work. The book is an extraordinary collection of stories told by the veterans themselves but also through the author's memories of them: the remarkable, the sad, the funny, the moving. It also features an outstanding collection of photographs taken of the veterans as they were, as soldiers during the war together with recent images of almost all of these men, taken at home, back on the Western Front, at the final veterans' reunion, and at various investitures. Britain's Last Tommies also offers a unique list of veterans, all of who individually hold the poignant title of being the last Gallipoli veteran, the last Royal Flying Corps veteran, the last Distinguished Conduct Medal holder, the last cavalryman, the last Prisoner of War.
The author has written a number of books about the First World War, largely based on oral history. His books include: Veterans, the Last Survivors of the Great War, 1998. Prisoners of the Kaiser, 2000, The Trench (accompanying the BBC2 series, 2001). All Quiet on the Home Front, 2003. Boy Soldiers, 2005 (to accompany Channel 4 documentary 'Britain's Boy Soldiers).