Book Review: British Steam – Military Connections – LMS Steam Locomotives

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British Steam Military Connections London Midland and Scottish Railways steam locomotives
Credit: RailAdvent

British Steam – Military Connections – LMS Steam Locomotives is a new book from publishers Pen and Sword, having been released in 2019, and is a detailed guide to the locomotives that have military connections from their names.

This hardback book is written by Keith Langston and has around 220 pages filled with detailed information and colour/black and white photos.

Measuring in at 280mm x 230mm, this book can be bought from Amazon for around £24.

The book is split into three chapters, and an acknowledgements section. Chapter one is Keith’s introduction, chapter two features the Black 5 class, the Jubilee class, the Patriot class, the Royal Scot class and the Stanier 8F class.

British Steam Military Connections London Midland and Scottish Railways steam locomotives
Credit: RailAdvent

Chapter three, confusingly, then has another section on Stanier 8Fs. More on that further into the review.

One thing I love about this book is that on the contents page are 5 QR codes that you can open with your phone to watch some video clips of locomotives in action.

Each section of the book goes into a brief history of the locomotive class, with the Black 5 section covering William A Stanier.

Along with a number of colour and black and white photos, each section of the book goes into detail of each locomotive that is named along with information of where the name comes from, for example, The Glasgow Highlander or The Ayrshire Yeomanry. Oddly, 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier doesn’t get a mention in the Black 5 section, but 45110 (based at the Severn Valley Railway) does.

British Steam Military Connections London Midland and Scottish Railways steam locomotives
Credit: RailAdvent

The Patriot section covers in detail the history of the class, with no Patriot class preserved (apart from the ongoing new build project), all photos of the Patriots are in black and white.

This section on the Patriots is a very detailed, but long, section, as Patriots were rebuilt. However, it is well split up and does not have pages of text. It is also nice to see The Patriot Project (the new build project building 45551 The Unknown Warrior) getting a mention and a two-page spread in the book.

British Steam Military Connections London Midland and Scottish Railways steam locomotives
Credit: RailAdvent

Moving on, the Jubilee class section is once again heavily detailed, though, like the other sections, the photos are big enough and often enough that it is an enjoyable read. 45690 ‘Leander’ and 45699 ‘Galatea’ get a detailed insight to both working and preserved life, along with lost examples such a 45640 ‘Frobisher’, 45654 ‘Hood’ and 45729 ‘Furious’. 45596 Bahamas is mentioned but doesn’t get the same detailed look in as the other preserved locos.

British Steam Military Connections London Midland and Scottish Railways steam locomotives
Credit: RailAdvent

Next up is the Royal Scot class and the common theme of detailedness continues, with many photos of the class shown from a variety of sources. Detailed analysis of 46100 ‘Royal Scot’ and 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’, both preserved and on the mainline (46115 undergoing overhaul at the time of writing this review) features in this section, with B&W photos for the history, and colour photos of their preserved mainline life featuring in their relevant section.

British Steam Military Connections London Midland and Scottish Railways steam locomotives
Credit: RailAdvent

Remembering back to earlier in this review when we mentioned the Stanier 8Fs? There seems to be a printing error on the contents page. Chapter 2 does not feature the 8Fs; these are covered in their own section in Chapter 3.

The Stanier 8F chapter is a relatively small section covering the class. I feel somewhat that this section was quickly added on at the end. 2 pages of information and photos followed by a 2-page spread of a photo of 48773 on a mainline tour. 48151 does not feature in this, neither does any of the other preserved 8Fs

British Steam Military Connections London Midland and Scottish Railways steam locomotives
Credit: RailAdvent

I found it fascinating to go back in time to read about the history of all the classes, with the historical photos, with most of the locomotives featured now scrapped.

In summary then, even if you only had a brief interest in locomotives, or whether you had a keen interest in War history, this book is really interesting for you. Detailed information and large photos mean this is an easy read, you can read from page 1, or just flick open the book and start from whichever page you are on.

The book is available to purchase from Pen and Sword and from Amazon, both retailing (at the time of writing) at £24.

We would like to thank Pen & Sword Books for providing us with a copy of the book for review.

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