Vitruvius Press

Vitruvius Press is a micro publisher which I use to publish various books which usually have some connection back to my interest in family history.

Current Titles

Matabele Sharpshooter. The diary of Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvis during the Matabele Rebellion of 1896

This volume consists of Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvisís exploits in the Matabele Rebellion of 1896 and gives an insight into his life as a sportsman, socialite, business man and soldier. Supposedly convalescing from injuries received in a hunting accident he takes the opportunity to travel to Rhodesia for some big game hunting and to check up on his business interests in various mining companies. Within weeks he is caught up in the Matabele Rebellion and his active soldiering life begins (and continues intermittently for the next twenty-three years through the Boer and Great Wars). As all his diaries reveal, he loses no opportunity to increase his large number of influential friends including in this case Cecil Rhodes, Earl Grey and Herbert Plumer who was to become a most important general in the Great War.

Weston Jarvis was an enthusiastic photographer and publication of these diaries is an opportunity to publish some of these for the first time. A full list of civilian and military casualties is included and also for the first time the medal rolls for the volunteers in the laagers, the relieving columns and the Imperial forces are publisahed

First published 17th April 2020. ISBN 978-1-8380241-0-9. Hardback. 212 Pages, 25 photographs. Price £14.99.

Future Titles

I have a number of projects underway and at various stages of completion including:

Boer War Sharpshooter (1899-1901). The diary of Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvis during the Boer War of 1899-1901
This is a prequel to the already published A Boer War Sharpshooter. At the outbreak of the Boer War Weston Jarvis, with his need to be at the centre of the action, again found himself in Rhodesia. He eventually commanded D Troop of Plumerís Rhodesian Regiment which was just about the only force on the 'Northern Front' while the main British forces approached from the south. Weston Jarvis and the regiment took part in the Relief of Mafeking before he returned to England.

Delhi Durbar (1902-1903). The diary of Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvis as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Connaught
The durbar was held to celebrate the succession of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark as Emperor and Empress of India. The two full weeks of festivities were devised in meticulous detail by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India. It was a dazzling display of pomp, power and split second timing. Edward VII, to Curzon's disappointment, did not attend but sent his brother, the Duke of Connaught who arrived with a mass of dignitaries by train from Bombay just as Curzon and his government came in the other direction from Calcutta. The assembly awaiting them displayed possibly the greatest collection of jewels to be seen in one place. Each of the Indian princes was adorned with the most spectacular of his gems from the collections of centuries. Maharajahs came with great retinues from all over India, many of them meeting for the first time while the massed ranks of the Indian armies, under their Commander-in-Chief Lord Kitchener, paraded, played their bands and restrained the crowds of common people (Wikipedia). Weston Jarvis, a neighbour of the royal family at Sandringham in Norfolk, went along as one of the ADCs to the Duke and of course was fully involved in all the activities.

South Africa 1910. The diary of Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvis
This diary records a business, hunting and social trip to South Africa and Rhodesia which for once did not involve warfare.

A Collection of Morice and Morrice Biographies with Geneological Trees
A book of this title was written by William Charles Morice and published by Rivingtons in 1923. This included part of A Genealogical Account of the Descendants of James Young, by Colonel William Johnston, printed at the University Press of Aberdeen, and both refer to the Morices or Morrices, who were found living in the north-eastern districts of Scotland between 1697-1893. My grandfather was a Morrice and these books have proved invaluable in understanding that side of my family history. The objective is to update and re-publish the book (hopefully by the centenary of the 1923 edition)

David Morrice - Master Mariner
David Morrice was my great-great-grandfather. He was born in 1817 on a Jamaican slave plantation run by his father. Around about the time of the abolishment of the slave trade he went to sea and eventually became a master mariner. In the mid-nineteenth century he captained his trading ships all over the world to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, India and Japan eventually being lost at sea with his ship and crew on a voyage from New Zealand to Shanghai in August 1869. The book is based on original documents including ships' logs and David's letterbook and traces his various voyages.

Whether or not all of these reach fruition is another matter

Earlier Weston Jarvis Diaries

A Boer War Sharpshooter. The diary of Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvis, Commanding Officer of the 21st Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry during their service in the Boer War 1901-1902

Colonel Weston Jarvis, C.M.G, M.V.O, T.D. Commanding Officer of the 21st Battalion the Imperial Yeomanry. Adventurer, politician, soldier, socialite and later a Knight of the Realm. A man from another century. The Boer War was fought between irregular troops of a small nation and the professional army of a mighty Empire. Though the Empire won the war the Boers proved to be worthy and skilful opponents. Equally at home in the saddle and in high society, Alexander Weston Jarvis kept a diary that captured the mood and atmosphere of the time. He takes the reader bivouacking under the African stars, riding long miles on patrol, skirmishing with a wily and elusive enemy; he shows the building of the blockhouse lines. He visits a concentration camp and then in stark contrast tells of the luxury of dinner parties, nights in the mess and visits to the theatre with the famous., great and notorious. He sampled the civilised delights of Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durban. Milner, Cecil Rhodes, Baden-Powell, Rawlinson, Haig, Plumer, many military and aristocratic luminaries numbered among his friends ,but none were more influential than the King and Royal Family. Alexander Weston Jarvisí diary is a valuable and evocative record of the British Empire at its height of power and a forgotten war.

Keith Case and Wayne Osborne, Salient Books. Published 2010. ISBN 978-0-9564439-1-5.

A Great War Sharpshooter. The Great War Diary of Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvis Volume I : Norfolk, Egypt and Gallipoli, 1914-1916

Despite his many interests and Royal and Society connections, Weston Jarvis remained at heart a soldier. A little over a decade after the Boer War and his service with the 21st Imperial Yeomanry, he answered his nationís call again. In August 1914, he was mobilised as the commanding officer of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry. At first, the battalion was a Home Defence unit but soon it went out to Egypt. From there Weston Jarvis and his Yeomen were sent to Gallipoli. After that ill-fated and disastrous campaign, the battalion returned to Egypt. Never one to be overawed by rank, Weston Jarvis fell out with his brigadier and felt compelled to resign as battalion CO. Returning to London, he began the search for a post on the Western Front.

Keith Case and Wayne Osborne, Salient Books. Hardback 328 pages. Published 2012. ISBN 978-0-9574459-2-5.

XIX Corps Camp Commandant. The Great War Diary of Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvis Volume II: The Western Front 1917-1919

As seen in A Boer War Sharpshooter and A Great War Sharpshooter, Colonel Weston Jarvis had spent his life fighting Britainís wars and when war broke out in 1914 he was mobilised with the 3rd County of London Yeomanry. He and his men defended a cold, wet Norfolk coast against phantom invasions and then in 1915 they were shipped out to the heat of Egypt to wait to be called into action at Gallipoli. They were transferred to Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, in August 1915 and thrown into the Battle for Scimitar and W Hills. From there they served in the trenches facing the Turks until casualties, sickness and the weather reduced their numbers so much that they had to be withdrawn. In 1916, after falling out with his Brigadier, Weston Jarvis resigned his commission and using his connections secured a posting to the Western Front in 1917.

This book, the second and final volume concerning Weston Jarvisí Great War career, covers his service as a staff officer with XIX Corps from 1917 to 1919. Weston Jarvisí diary, written almost every day, gives a window on the life of staff officers in a British Corps on the Western Front in the last years of the war. In this diary there are concerts, dinner parties, horse shows and the odd Chateau, as well as shelling, air raids, the death of loved ones, head long retreat and the startling advance to victory. The Colonel would have preferred a combat command but at the age of 61 in 1917 it was all he was allowed.

Keith Case and Wayne Osborne, Salient Books. Hardback 356 pages. Published 2015. ISBN ISBN 978-0-9574459-7-0.

Keith Case

Vitruvius Press
2 Newcastle Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1BT

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