The Heraldry of War has had an interesting background. In its original form, the project was little more than a few pages in a handbook destined to help students of the Conservation of Industrial Heritage course, run jointly by the British Engineerium and the University of Brighton, identify individual artefacts. Elements of heraldry—in particular, civic and national Arms—are to be found on objects ranging from buttons to tramcars, and from park benches to machine-guns. In many instances, however, these Arms (or derivatives of them) were difficult to interpret without specialist knowledge; and it was this that the original pages sought to provide.
Unfortunately, the engineering course did not survive into a second year and the supporting material was consigned to the dustbin. Yet I always believed that parts of it had sufficient merit to survive in an enlarged form. The first steps focused on civic heraldry, and the few pages slowly expanded to become a small book. Then it became a larger book; too large and too detailed to attract commercial interest. I continued to add material regardless of ever-increasing size, though the project languished until Christian Cranmer of International Military Antiques, Inc., suggested that it could be re-cast (once again!) to focus on the military aspects of heraldry.
This was not the herculean task it could have been. I had always been interested in the history of heraldry, which, in the earliest days, was essentially military. And I had worked for a specialist military publisher, Lionel Leventhal’s pioneering Arms & Armour Press, which reprinted Lieutenant-Colonel Howard N. Cole’s 1946-vintage classic Heraldry in War as the slightly revised Formation Badges of World War 2. Yet my commitment to heraldry lay dormant until, somewhat reluctantly, I became involved with genealogy. For this I blame my good friend Philip Dalton, who, sadly, died far too young in 2010. His enthusiasm for tracing not only his own family history but also a variety of inventors, engineers and patentees proved to be infectious. The Heraldry of War is in many ways a tribute to his memory.
An historical overview of the development of heraldry.
An outline of the structure of heraldry, explaining the technical terms.
The military and naval exploitation of heraldry.
Hundreds of individual illustrations in colour and monochrome.
'Wipe-clean' hardback binding, 192 pages, 25 x 19 cm, 850gm.
Price: £22.95 (UK only), plus p&p.
International Military Antiques, Inc.
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