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Simon Doherty


Simon Doherty's interest in the First World War began while he was at school in Christchurch, Dorset. He recalls organizing a school assembly at the age of thirteen that included readings from Siegried Sassoon, Robert Graves and Guy Chapman. This initial interest in the literary aspects of the war developed over time to include the military history of the war and a particular interest in the Indian Army.

The latter was almost pre-ordained by a series of coincidences - Simon was brought up in a village near Barton on the south coast of Hampshire where there was an Indian convalescent hospital during the First World War. He went to college in Brockenhurst in the New Forest where there were a number of hospitals for Indian casualties. He started work, and still lives, in Brighton where the Royal Pavilion and other buildings were used as Indian hospitals and where the Chattri memorial to the Indians who died in the First World War stands to this day. His first trip to the Western Front in 2000 was, by coincidence, to Festubert, in the heart of the Indian Corps sector, a location he has returned to on several occasions since.

Simon's career as a banker and as an IT specialist has taken him to nearly fifty countries around the world. During his travels he has taken every opportunity to visit locations connected with the First World War, from the site of the crossing of the Auja by the 52nd Division in Palestine in 1917 (now in northern Tel Aviv) to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Karachi. In his private life he is an avid collector of antiquarian books and has built up an impressive library on various aspects of military history.

Simon was originally a customer and neighbour of Tom Donovan and is now a long term friend and business partner. The pair established Tom Donovan Editions in 2006 and have recently co-written a handbook and battlefield guide to the Indian Corps on the Western Front.

Simon is married to Margaret, a midwife, and has four children, none of whom, sadly, share his passion for books!