Published: The Greatest Sacrifice – Fallen Heroes of the Northern Union

On Saturday I saw my book for the first time. The finished product looks amazing.

As the publisher said:

What began as an idea in the press box at Huddersfield is now one of the definitive history books about rugby league. Scratching Shed Publishing is honoured to publish a tribute to the 69 men who fell in WWI by Chris & Jane Roberts….

Chris and I echo these sentiments. It has been a real privilege to be able to research the lives of these men.

The publishers have done a fantastic job, supporting us throughout the process of writing this long overdue and important rugby league history book. But above all this is more than a rugby league book, a sporting history book, or a World War One book. It is the story of the impact of war on individual men and their families from across Great Britain.

I hope we’ve done them justice.

The book is available from Scratching Shed Publishing at £14.99.

I also have copies for sale, which can be signed if required. I can also drop off locally. If so the cost is £13.50. Post within the UK increases the cost to £14.50. Payment can either be via cheque (UK) or bank transfer. My contact email is

The book will also shortly be available from the usual book retailers.

If any family history, rugby league or local history groups would like Chris and I to do a talk, please contact me on the above email address.

6 responses to “Published: The Greatest Sacrifice – Fallen Heroes of the Northern Union

  1. Congratulations on your book! Sounds like a very interesting topic.

  2. At last a book on Rugby League and WWI!! As a Frenchman and RL enthusiast loving History I was so pleased to be able to buy your book that I have just started reading. What an amazing amount of work you must have done as info on this topic are spread and not easy to find. My interest was the attitude of RL authorities towards WWI (UK, Australia and NZ) and marginally France where RL had not been introduced yet. I managed to read some sections of various books on this topic but yours is going to give it a wider scope! You would be welcome to lecture on this topic in France as our two countries, opponents on the playing field, were allies on the battle field and victims of a ruthless war.
    Jérôme from Toulouse, France.
    PS: RL was not played in the army then but do we know if some tomies did play it ‘privately’ while in France?

  3. This book looks great more people should know this history, not just league fans

    • Thanks David. It was a privilege to do this research and it became a real labour of love. They were sportsmen, but they were also part of their communities with families, friends and work colleagues. Ensuring a century on the wider rugby league family and beyond still know the about the lives of these men was what it was about. I hope we achieved our aim.

  4. Pingback: My 2020 Family History Review. And is it Really Worth Setting Any Goals for 2021? | PastToPresentGenealogy

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