'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:

Published Works by David Venner


The Venners of Somerset and Devon | privately published | 1980


(with Sally Cotton)

Information for a Rural Community | British Library | 1986



Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-18: the diary of Sergeant Albert Simpkin, MM | Pen and Sword Military|

Hardback May 2015

Paperback August 2018



Technical Reports


The South West Coast Path - a review of the Management and Marketing of a National Trail | Countryside Commission | 1993


The South West Coast Path - a study of the alignment of a National Trail | Countryside Commission | 1994


The South West Coast Path - linking fine landscapes with economic benefits | Countryside Commission | 1996


Full Report on the Management and Marketing of the South West Coast Path| Countryside Commission | 1996


More than just a path - a strategy for the South West Coast Path to 2005 | Countryside Commission | 1997


High Bickington Landscape Assessment | Project 2000 Committee | 2003



The Venners of Somerset and Devon. Review by Michael Hart in The Bridgwater Mercury

The history of England is enriched by the careful investigation of the lives of particular families. Only thus can the historian of the future have the sources he needs.  David Venner has done this with his book, on the lives of his known ancestors and his conclusions about their origins, in "The Venners of Somerset and Devon".


It is a fascinating book. The author quotes WG Hoskins with a pride which runs right through the work:


"My ancestors were men and women of no particular eminence, even in local history; farmers nearly all of them, but they were the sort of people who form the foundation of any stable society. These things delight me when I come across them, This is the immemorial, provincial England, rooted deep in the soil, unmoving, contented and sane. These are my forebears who have made me what I am whether I like it or not."


The Venners of Somerset and Devon is an important addition to the historical records of the lives of men and women in rural England.

Information for a Rural Community

This book resulted from a British Library funded research and development project at South Molton, Devon.  The authors, David Venner and Sally Cotton, were respectively the project officer and librarian, based at South Molton Library.


The work involved two surveys of need ("before" and "after"), an analysis of user reactions, setting up, promoting, and monitoring the use of, a Community Information Centre, and assessing the contribution of the library to the work of other provider agencies.


An independent consultant, employed to provide a national perspective to the project, commented:  "David Venner's excellent report shows that the South Molton project achieved its aims .. the experience gained should provide guidance to other libraries wishing to improve rural community information and advice services."  

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© Diary of a Despatch Rider