From Sussex Yeomen
to Greenwich Watermen

by Albert W. Gearing

Published by Country Books. Paper back A5 (210mm x 148mm.) 176 pages with over 200 black and white photographs and engravings. ISBN 1 898941 55 6 [Price: £10.00 plus P&P]

Albert Gearing's fascinating history of his family through the male lineage from 1500 to the present day makes the reader feel a surrogate family member--and glad to be one...

There are extracts from jurors' notes of the 16th century that provide a vivid insight into life in the Tudor age. In the late 18th century, the family leave Sussex to become Thames Watermen--and as the seven year apprenticeship was unpaid, forced to live in Greenwich workhouse--life in which Albert Gearing gives much detail and contemporary illustrations.

In his descriptions of his father, a survivor of the Gallipoli Campaign who died in 1997 at the age of 102 years, we have a deeply moving tribute to one of the more fortunate participants in the First World War. The author's account of his own early life throws fresh light on a vibrant community that will interest not only those who know and care about Greenwich, but students of social history everywhere.

"In spite of all the air raids and shortages of everything, it was amazing how cheerful people were, especially Londoners who could always crack a joke about things. I never heard anyone say that we should give in. There is no doubt that Churchill kept our spirits up with his famous speeches, which we looked forward to listening to. There was absolutely no doubt in his mind that we should win through. I think that was what kept us going."

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