Death of Major Michael Barthorp

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Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby mike snook » 09 Feb 2018 16:37

Dear VWF Members

I have today come across this notice, from 10 Janaury 2018 in the Jersey Evening Post. I deeply regret to say that Major Michael Barthorp, late of the Northamptonshire and Royal Anglian Regiments, passed away on Friday 5 January, at the age of 90. In so far as I know this has not been mentioned here on the forum before now.

Apart from having served his country as a soldier for an extended period, Michael Barthorp was a tremendous historian and writer. I cannot recall having ever picked up a Barthorp book without buying it on the spot. His contribution to the subject we all love has been most distinguished. His death is of course a sad loss to our field, but more particularly to those who who knew and loved him in life. RIP Major M. J. Barthorp.

Dr Mike Snook MBE psc
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby 95th » 09 Feb 2018 20:45

Alas another one of the old guard has gone,a great loss indeed :(
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby jf42 » 09 Feb 2018 22:28

I was very sorry to read this. I had been wondering only this morning, as I looked through a couple of his books, how he might be faring. It occurred to me he would be advancing in years.

His books and other studies are a fitting monument. I do wish he had produced more illustrations, though. I admired his neat figures (Meaning no offence to Pierre Turner).
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby Josh&Historyland » 09 Feb 2018 22:35

How sad. I too greatly enjoyed his work. To Face the Daring Maori's is a book I shall always admire, and treasure more now I hear this melancholy news.
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby Frogsmile » 10 Feb 2018 12:16

Thank you for drawing this sad loss to the attention of forum members. Major Michael Barthorp's publications were my first inspiration to look into the field of British military uniforms of the past, an interest that has never left me. I still treasure his two volumes on cavalry and infantry uniforms, purchased for me as a birthday gift in 1984, and inscribed in the flyleaf by my late wife. There are few days when I do not reach for them. Should I ever suffer a house fire (providence forbid) with little time to grasp books from my library, those two volumes would undoubtedly be my very first concern. I can pay no greater accolade than that to such an erudite and inspiring historian, researcher, artist and author. I hope that tributes like these - and there must be many - might be of some small comfort to his family.
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Relic of many a fight and siege and sack, it points a moral and adorns the back.
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby grumpy » 10 Feb 2018 17:47

Frogsmile took the words out of my mouth.
RIP Michael.
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 10 Feb 2018 20:27

Mr. Barthorp, thanks for my copy of "Blood-Red Desert Sand" and "Slogging Over Africa".
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby Mark A. Reid » 10 Feb 2018 20:53

When another doyen of British military uniforms, Mr. Bill Carman, used to visit Canada, the country of his birth by the way, he used to stay with us and he once related how upon the death of King Edward VII he noted all the signs of public mourning around the house and with visitors. To mark his own recognition of the sad event he tied tiny strips of black crepe around the arms of his toy soldiers. Having enjoyed Major Barthorp's books for many years I am now tempted to decorate my " Little Armies " in similar fashion.

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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby Tony Barton » 12 Feb 2018 10:29

A terrible loss, though he goes wreathed with laurels for his absolutely peerless contribution to military history.My copies of his reference works are already nearly worn out, and I shall cheerfully replace them as indispensable.
Let his wonderful books be his memorial.
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby colsjt65 » 14 Feb 2018 22:50

As with many of you, because we are always referring to Michael Barthorp in the forum, I was wondering about his health and age shortly before this announcement. I can't remember any times anything he referred to was wrong, maybe ambiguous, but never dead wrong. He must have had access to so many sources back in the day that we still can't access today.

My interest in the New Zealand wars started around the mid 1980s when I bought The Colonial New Zealand Wars by two New Zealanders, W Parham and T Ryan. It came as quite a surprise years later to find that the best work on the Northern wars, To Face the Daring Maoris, was written by an Englishman long before that.

I went into his Wikipedia page and saw that it needed updating. I have added his date of death and a wealth of books to the bibliography. I found a lot that I had never heard of. I guess that I'll never own them all.

BTW, I looked up Pierre Turner as well - can anyone guess how much Soldiers' Accoutrements of the British Army is selling for on the second-hand book web sites? Take a look!
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Re: Death of Major Michael Barthorp

Postby Isandlwana » 15 Feb 2018 12:51

What sad loss.

I was lucky enough to meet Michael at the V.M.S. Fair, when it was held at Caxton Hall. He willingly signed my copies of his works, and shared details of some of his research with me.

My condolences to his family and friends.

John Y.
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with brave men's blood for England's sake and duty...
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