Rob Langham has been involved in commemorating the history of the Great War for a number of years, whether it be through his writing or practical involvement with living history projects. He can often be found wearing the uniform of a number of British units, but more often will be seen representing the Royal Flying Corps. You are quite likely to find him using a vintage Kodak camera with which he takes authentic images to record his activities.
The end of 2013 sees the publication of his first book The North Eastern Railway in the First World War.
Rob tells us “As I have always had an interest in the First World War, when I started spending more time in the north east after many years away, I decided to ask one of the railway museums if they had much in their archive about the North Eastern Railway… and it turned out they did. I spent one afternoon at the museum pouring through books of photographs and documents from the war and found the story absolutely fascinating, and really ought to be told.”
He continues: “It was certainly a good experience – it could be frustrating at times especially with conflicting information, but the story of how the railways coped during the war and how they adapted, as well as what they did for the war effort apart from just releasing men and running the railways is also very impressive. The personal stories that will now be told and my own greatly increased understanding of life on the home front during the war made it worth it.”
Your next book is on the famous Handley-Page bombers of the Great War – the Bloody Paralyser. How is it all coming together? “Slowly… I’ve had most of the material for years..the main hold up is the war diaries.”
Rob has ambitions to produce a number of books in the next few years, saying “After the paralyser I want to do the Royal Artillery at Gallipoli, then probably something completely unrelated.” It all adds up to a lot of work. Good luck mate!
Rob’s book on the North Eastern Railway is about to published by Fonthill Media. You will be able to read a review of it here at War History Online.
Interview by Mark Barnes for War History Online