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Marching or Flying By Night (1915)

Marching or Flying By Night (1915)

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Colonel W. A. Tilney

(Late 17th Lancers)


HUGH REES LTD, London, 1915

A rare original 1915 edition of Colonel W. A. Tilney’s guide to navigating at night without the aid of a compass. Introduced by Lt-General Douglas Haig, it was first published in February 1914. Intended to be a practical guide to night navigation without the aid of a compass, this manual would have been a valuable aid to soldiers and R.F.C. airmen who were, for whatever reason, unable to make use of a service or aeroplane compass at night. With clear instructions on how to navigate by using the positions of the stars at different times of the year, it includes detailed timetables of the direction of various stars throughout the years 1915 to 1920. It also includes two large coloured star charts at the rear of the book. There is a foreword, dated 9th February 1914, by Lt. General Douglas Haig in which he stated:

'Anything that can be of assistance to officers and men in finding their way by night is of very direct value. Colonel Tilney's work towards this end has been tested and found successful. I have, therefore, pleasure in commending it to the notice of officers and men'.

The book comes with two loosely inserted latitude charts, and is signed on the front cover by ‘D. A. Rosher’.

Douglas Arthur Rosher joined the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in September 1914. Born in England in 1894, he had emigrated to Canada before the war. He was posted to the Western Front in February 1915 and served as a Private in the 10th Canadian Infantry Battalion until August 1915. Late in 1915 he was commissioned as an officer in the Middlesex Regiment and ended the war as a Lieutenant. In 1922 he returned to Canada intending to become a farmer. I will include copies of the details I have of Lieutenant Rosher’s war service with the book.


In good condition. The cover shows minor signs of wear and use and some marks. The binding and hinges are good and secure. The text is in good condition with a few minor marks. The fold-out illustrations are in very good condition. There is an ink signature of ‘D. A. Rosher’ on the front cover, and an ink stamp of ‘F’ Company, 24th Training Reserve Battalion, dated 18th July 1917.

Published: 1915
Red card covers, with black titling
Illustrated with diagrams and fold-outs
Dimensions: 90mm x 135mm
Pages: 63 (plus two fold-out charts)