Famous tells the Great War stories of twenty of Britain's most respected, best known and even notorious celebrities. They include politicians, actors, writers, an explorer, a sculptor and even a murderer. The generation that grew up in the late 19th Century enlisted enthusiastically in the defence of the country. Many would become household names such as Basil Rathbone, the definitive Sherlock Holmes, AA Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh, and Arnold Ridley who found fame and public affection as the dour Scotsman Fraser, and the gentle and genial Godfrey, in Dad's Army. From politicians such as Harold Macmillan and Winston Churchill to writers includsing JB Priestley, and JRR Tolkein, from sculptors like Henry Moore, to composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, their fame and influence continue even into the 21st Century. The authors have discovered the exact locations where these celebrities saw action. They tell the story of where CS Lewis was wounded and invalided home, and how Basil Rathbone won the Military Cross for a trench raid (while dressed as a tree). Each story is examined in detail with pictures taken of the very spot where the actions took place.
There are maps of the area that will guide enterprising readers to walk in the footsteps of their heroes.
Richard Van Emden has interviewed more than 270 veterans of the Great War and has written seventeen books on the subject including "The Trench" and "The Last Fighting Tommy," both of which were top ten sellers. He has also worked on more than a dozen television programmes on the Great War, including the award-winning "Roses of No Man's Land," "Britain's Boy Soldiers," "A Poem for Harry," "War Horse: the Real Story," "Teenage Tommies" with Fergal Keane and most recently, "Hidden Histories: WWI's Forgotten Photographs." He lives in London.