The book is written in a clear readable style and is amply illustrated with photographs and maps. Sufficient background detail is given to set particular events in context. It is an attractive and carefully researched account of a man who deserves to be more widely known.
The author has had the enthusiastic support of Sir Bertram’s extended family, whose archives have provided a rich source of letters, diaries, photographs and reminiscences. Regimental war diaries and newspaper accounts have added to the story.
by Alison Deveson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard has lived for 46 years in Overton, Hampshire, close to Southington House which was Bertram Portalâ€™s home. One of his grandchildren is a family friend.
Richard studied medicine at Pembroke College, Cambridge and St Thomasâ€™s Hospital London, qualifying in 1966. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
As a consultant he had no time to pursue his life-long interest in history but on retirement he published a number of monographs about Overton. This led to a major project in which he led a team of researchers to produce 'A History of Overton from 1500' which was published in 2019. Though more academic in style, it proved to be very popular.
Richard knew from this research that Hampshire Archives holds a very large collection of Bertram Portalâ€™s letters and papers deposited there by the family. Having perused them, he was convinced that his story deserved to be better known. He then discovered Bertramâ€™s war diaries, an album of photographs at the National Army Museum and more of his letters at the British Library. When Bertramâ€™s grandchildren shared his enthusiasm and showed him many more letters and photographs, Richard knew that the project was viable.
Richard is too old now for climbing mountains and offshore sailing but he still restores antique furniture which he finds much easier than restoring people.