'Despatch Rider' is now available in paperback! 


Lots of 5* reviews  on  Amazon - see 'Reviews' page

New content added to 'Sgt Raymond Alvey RAF' page


Over 1300 hardback copies sold (and a similar quantity of Kindle/ebooks)


Articles on 'Vintage British Bikes' and Pen and Sword's 'Warfare magazine' websites


Review by Ian Hay- Campbell, Friends of the National Archives


Review by Paul Norman in Books Monthly


Review in Nacelle (Triumph Owners'  magazine)


'Despatch Rider' is spotted on the (bottom) shelves at Foyles - and the top shelf at The National Archives!


'Despatch Rider' is featured in Classic Motorcycle magazine


Forthcoming talks and events - see EVENTS

Buy the book!

Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-18, in both hardback and paperback versions, can be bought direct from the editor - please email as below. The publishers, Pen and Sword Books, can also supply E-Pub and Kindle versions of the book.


If you have any queries please email me:

The Diarist: Albert Simpkin

Albert Edward Simpkin was born at Broughton near Manchester in 1885. After leaving school he worked at Crossley Brothers, manufacturers of marine engines, as an apprentice engineer. Albert joined the Army in December 1914 and Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-18 is a fine record of his continuous service in NE France and Belgium until demobilisation in early 1919.


After the War he returned to Crossley Brothers, eventually becoming Chief Engineer at their Openshaw branch in Manchester. In 1926 he married Lily Frances Saywell (sister of the Editor's grandmother). Shortly afterwards he was posted to South America to set up a new branch in Argentina.  He died in Buenos Aires aged 80.

The Editor: David Venner

David Venner was born and raised on a dairy farm in Somerset.

His father's family have farmed in Devon and Somerset since at least 1600 and his mother's family were from Derbyshire (mainly agricultural labourers) and NE France (lacemakers).


After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in Ecological Sciences, David had a career in Countryside Management, specialising in the management and marketing of national trails.  He is now a family history advisor in North Devon. 


He has written two previous books: The Venners of Somerset and Devon (1980, privately published) and Information for a Rural Community (1986, British Library). David is married to Sue and has two grown up children, a grandson and two granddaughters.

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