Recommended Local History Books

Book List

The following books have been published by various members of the Friends of the Aldershot Military museum. They cover local history of Aldershot, Farnborough and Cove.  I strongly recommend purchasing them all!

Amazon.co.uk stock them, but some of the books listed are currently unavailable, however, you may be able to find them from alternative sellers. Some books are available at the Aldershot Military Museum shop, Aldershot WH Smiths and the Prince Consort's Library.

  • Title: The Story of Gale & Polden 1866-1981
  • Author: David Strong
  • Published: 1st January 2017
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781526206701
  • Dimensions: 244 x 199 mm
  • £16.00 from the Aldershot Military Museum

One part of Aldershot history that was fast becoming forgotten is the story of Gale & Polden, once the premier military printing house in Britain. Aldershot History Society member David Strong is rectifying this. The recent publication of The Story of Gale & Polden 1866-1981 is an important contribution to the history of Aldershot. The book is well produced, comprehensive, detailed and extremely well illustrated. It records previously untold episodes in the history of this unique and famous military printer and publisher and by diligent research dispels a number of historical myths. The origins of the business go back to 1866 when James Gale, a printer by trade opened a book and stationery business in Old Brompton which was part of the Chatham Garrison. He subsequently acquired a printing press and became an army printer. In 1884 Gale entered into partnership with Thomas Ernest Polden, a former staff apprentice. The following year the firm built and moved to Brompton Works in order to cope with ever increasing business.

In 1892 the partners opened a London office, they incorporated the firm and made a decision to move the business to Aldershot in 1893. A period of expansion followed and the scene was set for the next forty- five years. In 1963 the company became part of the Purnell Group who later merged with Hazel Sun to form the British Printing Corporation. After a tumultuous eighteen years (and now known as Beric Gale & Polden) the company ceased trading in November 1981.

Aldershot History Tour

  • Title: Aldershot Military Heritage
  • Author: Paul H. Vickers
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (15 July 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445665905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445665900
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 0.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Find it on Amazon.co.uk

The Hampshire town of Aldershot has long been synonymous with the military; so much so that it became known as the 'Home of the British Army' and grew rapidly from a small village to a Victorian town. In this fascinating account of the town's military heritage, local military historian, Paul Vickers, explains why the Army came to Aldershot and made this their main camp, growing to accommodate up to 15,000 soldiers within three years. He looks at the phases of building and re-building the camp, up to its maximum extent just before World War Two, post-war rebuilding and the need for for a new relationship with the civilian town, and the more recent reduction in numbers. Along the way, the book explores the role of the town during the Crimea, Zulu War, Egypt and Boer War, the World Wars and conflicts since 1945: Suez, IRA bombing, Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Aldershot History Tour

  • Title: Aldershot History Tour
  • Author: Paul H. Vickers
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (15 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445664259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445664255
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.2 x 16.9 cm
  • Find it on Amazon.co.uk

Aldershot History Tour is a unique insight into the illustrious history of this famous old Hampshire garrison town. Local author Paul H. Vickers guides us around the streets, parks and buildings, showing how its famous landmarks used to look and how they’ve changed over the years, as well as exploring its lesser-known sights and hidden corners. With the help of a handy location map, readers are invited to follow a timeline of events and discover for themselves the changing face of Aldershot.

Aldershot History Tour

  • Title: Rushmoor Remembers
  • Authors: Friends of the Aldershot Military Museum, Paul H. Vickers, Roger Deason, Melita Stone
  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Friends of the Aldershot Military Museum (11 Nov. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 095664841X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956648419
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 0.5 x 25 cm
  • Find it on Amazon.co.uk
Cody Book

  • Title: The Flying Cowboy
  • Author: Peter Reese
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (15 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752436597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752436593
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.6 x 24.6 cm
  • Find it on Amazon.co.uk
Cody Book

  • Title: Aldershot Past
  • Author: Stephen Phillips, Gillian Picken
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Phillimore & Co Ltd; First Edition edition (10 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860771440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860771446
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2 x 24.6 cm
  • Find it on Amazon.co.uk
Aldershot Past Book

  • Title: Aldershot Through Time
  • Author: Paul H. Vickers
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (6 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445610264
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445610269
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 0.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Find it on Amanazon.co.uk
Cody Book

  • Title: A Gift So Graciously Bestowed: The History of the Prince Consort's Library, Aldershot
  • Author: Paul H. Vickers
  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Friends of the Aldershot Military Museum; 2nd Revised edition edition (5 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956648401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956648402
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 1.3 x 24.9 cm
  • Find it on Amanazon.co.uk
A Gift So Graciously Bestowed Book