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The Scorer

Tunnel-master and Arsonist of the Great War

5 posts in this topic

This is the biography of Sir John Norton-Griffiths, and is subtitled "The Norton-Griffiths Story".

 

It's written by Tony Bridgeland and Anne Morgan, who is Sir John Norton-Griffiths's grand daughter, and is based on her research into the story over many years. It's not new, as my hardback copy was published by Leo Cooper in 2003, but is still very relevant for all that. The title gives a clue to all his activities, but doesn't fully explain exactly what he got up to during an army career which lasted from approx. 1888 to the end of the First World War and then a business career which started at the same time and went on until his death in 1930.

 

He was truly a witness to history, and in fact was instrumental in making some of it, albeit in a mall way. The cast of characters includes Cecil Rhodes, Leander Starr Jameson, "Bobs" Roberts, H H Kitchener, Dudley Docker, Arthur Balfour, Winston Churchill, Sir John French, Mohandas Ghandi .... and many more!  I'm left with the question: "How did he manage to do all that?" ... but he did, and it's a really interesting story. Even his death is a story, as it was officially "suicide whilst of temporarily unsound mind", but there's a suggestion made at the time that he was murdered - but why is not really explained.

 

If you can get a copy - mine came from a second hand bookshop in Abergavenny - I'd recommend it as a very good book.  

 

 

 

    

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I think of read it - I recall parts of his story - and it's available on Amazon, yea even in Kindle format.

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Ah, thank you, Paul - I didn't check on Amazon before my review, but I see that you're right, there are quite a few available.

 

Mind you, I'm glad to say that they're all more expensive than my copy was, although I'm not 100% sure that mine was new!

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I read this a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Recommended if you've an interest in WW1 tunnelling.

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3 hours ago, simond9x said:

Recommended if you've an interest in WW1 tunnelling.

 

Yes, absolutely ... but the description of all the destruction in the oil refineries and fields of Romania (and the aftermath) make interesting reading, as well; I never knew anything about that!

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