Whilst working for Royal Mail for the last 27 years, Stone’s Ray Bostock completed an Open University degree in History (2.1 Hons) and wrote his first book.
Ray’s father and grandfather always used to celebrate Empire Day on the 24th May right up until their deaths. Whilst not an ardent Imperialist, his grandfather did mark other dates on the calendar that nobody else appeared to be aware of – such as 12th September (1897) and the battle of Saragarhi or 6th February (1840) Waitangi Day (in New Zealand).
Ray always wondered why, and this started his interest in dates and anniversaries. Eventually this motivated him to research the history of Empire Day, and other dates in British imperial history, leading to the empire itself.
Ray says Stone is the site of one of the largest battles ‘never’ fought – 3rd December 1745. If it had been, he claims this battle could have changed the course of British history. Events such as this have always fired his imagination since childhood. Anniversaries of key events in British history, such as the Battle of Hastings, Magna Carta, the Restoration of the Monarchy, the death of Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister, Decimal Day 1971 have continued to inspire him. ‘Empire Days Britain and the Empire in a Year’ is a thorough and informative description of the growth of the British Empire throughout history.
Ray covers all aspects of the Empire, including geography, politics and the Royal Family. Cross-referenced and detailed, Ray has made it simple to find specific information according to date, whilst also creating a chronological narration that one can easily read from start to finish. Our changing British Empire encompasses a wide variety of cultures, languages, ethnicities and religions and Empire Days helps us to understand and appreciate how these have helped to shape the Great Britain that we know today.
Ray told the Gazette…
“Due to my interest in eighteenth century history and the history of the British Empire, I decided to write my own document, a ‘what happened on this day in history’ but for Britain and the empire. Although my children are both now young adults, neither they nor their friends were aware of the many different dates and anniversaries that passed them by, day after day. My friends and family were much the same and so I decided to add a little more information against each date…anyone could benefit from simply looking through the document”.
Ray is currently taking time out to work on his next book, whilst also learning Greek and Hebrew.
He lives in Stone with his wife and two children. Empire Days: Britain and the empire in a year is published by Austin Macauley, will be released on 30/09/2016.
For further information please visit their website www.austinmacauley.com/book/ empire-days-britain-and-empire-year