The publisher is offering these for direct sale to ROCA members in paperback, at 3.99 plus p&p.

Ordered copies will be made in one drop to a Corp member for re-distribution. A time limit for orders to come in will be set (say, end of November).

More details to follow when I get them.

As you know the book has many pictures from the past and we can remind people that these will also make well received Christmas presents.


Enquiries can be made through Peter Houseman (e.mail name




The following items were made available by Neville Cullingford, curator of the ROC Museum

  A review by Roy Clinch (Zebro Club News - March 1994)

Forearmed is Forearmed
by Henry Buckton
obtainable from Sales Department of James Clarke & Co. Ltd., Lutterworth Press, PO Box 60, Cambridge CB1 2NT
14.95 + 1.50 p&p. Money with order.

Acknowledged as a cynic by friends, I am always reluctant to recommend any item until I sampled. A fair amount of pre-publication notices were sent out prior to the appearance of this book which I did not print in the ZCN until Ihad read it myself.

Introductions can so easily become tedious and boring but this onre was relatively painless and sympathically written. The Foreword and tributes from the notable senior RAF personalities and Lord Callaghan read sincerely, which doubtless they were.

I cannot imagine what on earth possessed Henry Buckton to invite comments from such as John Major, Lord Ferrers and MP's like Archie Hamilton, Tom King, Kenneth Baker, Michael Heseltine and Douglas Hurd. They and their kind were either responsible for wielding the dagger which to all intents and purposes ended the life of our proud Corps, or they maintained a silence or turned their backs whilst the deed was done!

Having got that off my chest I can now honestly say that I was agreeably suprised at the remainder of the book. Written in a not-too-technical language without condescending platitudes, it made very interesting and easy reading with photographs of very "real" people of all ranks.

The fact that most of the photographs were of personnel from the South-East or South of the UK was inevitable because to invite them from all over the area would have a monumental task. As it was, Henry made a very commendable job of it. I derived much pleasure in recalling some of the faces, names and events long forgotten.

The past formative history of the Corps was dealt with in a most interesting manner - pity Henry hadn't been employed to write those chapters in the Manual!

A book I would thoroughly recommend to all ex members of the ROC which I am confident will reawaken fond memories of people, places and events of long ago. Futhermore a book well worth the money which would occupy an honourable place on any ex members bookshelves. If Henry Buckton writess another one on the Royal Observer Corps, I would certainly buy one.!


The original release notes by the author.

An Official Tribute and History of The Royal Observer Corps by Henry Buckton

When the Royal Observer Corps was Stood Down in 1991, an idea hatched in my mind to create a quality tribute to the thusands of men and woman who had served the Corps through the decades, which would raise funds for the ROC Benevolent Fund. I approached the Central Committee with the idea and after discussion they gave it unanimous approval. As a tribute I wanted to get as many people as involved as I could and the response was staggering. One feature of the book is a collection of written contributions, in which well known people who at some time in the past have had some dealings with the Corps, give their own view. With pride I can say that none approached had a negative view or had a bad word to say. Everyone was full of the highest admiration, and only too pleased to add their own humble contributions to the book. Among these contributors are the Prime Minister John Major and ex Prime Ministers Baroness Thatcher and Lord Callaghan. There are politicians such as Kenneth Baker, Tom King, Douglas Hurd, Michael Hesteltine and Sir Leon Brittan. Wartime fighter pilots who knew form first hand the worth of the Corps, such as Johnnie Johnson and Sir Hugh Dundas. The RAF of today is represented by the likes of Air Chief Mashal Sir Michael Graydon and Air Commodore Donaldson. Yeovil Group gets a personal tribute through the contribution of Paddy Ashdown. Even Her Majesty the Queen, our patron, supplied an address from Buckingham Palace on headed notepaper for publication. Other contributions have come in many forms and form varied sources, for instance, the music of Skywatch was provided by its composer Wing Commander Roy Davies.

Next came the history of the Corps which itself concentrates very mich on the tributes paid to the Organisation through its existance. At this point I would like to give a special thanks to Alan Price-Talbot for the work he has done on the origins of early warning systems. Another person who gave up a great deal of his time and without who the book wouldn't have been such a success, is Neville Cullingford, curator of the ROC Museum, who searched through thousands of photographs to provide the publication with a fresh feel. When everything was ready the manuscript was checked and rechecked by members of the Central Committee, Mrs J.Shrubbs MBE, Mr M.Marks and John Murphy OBE, and Observer Lieutenant P.Proost at Bentley Priory. After two long years, the tribute and history is now ready and available from the publishers: Ashford, Buchan and Enright, 31 Bridge Street, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8BN.

I hope that readers will find the book worthy of the wonderful organisation whose spirit we are now entrusted to keep alive through our involvement with ROCA.

[06jan01 14:00]