Poperinghe, better known as ‘Pop’ to the troops of the British Army during the Great War, has its place in history due to the Toc H movement which saw its birth in Talbot House there. This book, the second in Paul Chapman’s trilogy, brings to life the town as the troops knew it, a place of ‘rest’ and entertainment, restaurants and ‘theatres’, Hotels and billets, bars and brothels, a place for officers and men to enjoy when out of the line. Although it suffered its share of bombing and shelling, the town was not unduly damaged and is much the same today as it was then, apart from the natural expansion due to modern industry and population growth. Most of the buildings used for troop entertainment and general activities are still there, carrying the same names, with many of them offering the same services, although of a more 'refined' type. Having read this book, Poperinghe will present a totally different aspect to todays visitor.
About the Author
Paul Chapman, founder and ex Chairman of the Northampton branch of The Western Front Association, is a keen historian and has been a member of the WFA for many years. Paul is also a member of the Talbot House Association. A regular visitor to France and Flanders, for a number of years he has arranged and escorted tours to the Ypres Salient.
Paul's interest in the Great War on the western front stems from his paternal grandparents. His grandfather served with the Canadian Army Service Corps and, after his demobilisation became, along with many fellow ex-servicemen, one of the first to join the ranks of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission.
Ted Smith is an author and historian