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Brigadier General Ronald Van Stockum

Thursday, February 7, 2013

When you’ve lived through close to a century of historical events, such as Brigadier General Ronald Van Stockum has, you want others to be aware of the challenges and accomplishments your generation has faced. In an effort to preserve such knowledge, Van Stockum has written a book entitled, Remembrances of World Wars. The book describes personal experiences, observations and research to detail the World Wars of the 20th century.

Van Stockum has relied on accounts given by his mother, Florence Bareham Van Stockum, research material found in the archives of the Imperial War Museum and of Kings College, Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and the War Diary of the battalion his father, Sergeant Reginald Bareham, was a part of. Sergeant Bareham was one of 19,240 British soldiers killed during the first day of the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 1916.

Remembrances of World Wars consists of 41 columns Van Stockum has written about these wars for the Sentinel News for the last five years. Van Stockum said he wrote the book because he sensed “an increasing interest in the World Wars of the last century.” It was Van Stockum’s idea to pen the columns, “believing that my military experience and study of history might be of interest.” On April 27, 2007 the first column was published entitled, “History: Researched and Recalled.” He has now published more than 95 columns.

MarkWetherington, Executive Director of the Filson Historical Society, wrote the introduction to Remembrances of World Wars. Having known Van Stockum for almost 20 years he said, “the book gives a good overview of the World Wars of the 20th century, and what I like best is that this overview is based on his own personal experiences or those of family members, which I believe makes it unique. As a writer, he always has an interesting story to tell and he tells it well.”

Van Stockum has had a life-long passion for history. At the age of ten or twelve he recalls having read “every history of the United States I could find in the library. I pasted in my scrapbook all the newspaper cartoon series entitled, “Highlights of History.” I find myself almost obsessed with the concept of preserving historical documents and artifacts.”

The author will present a short program and book signing at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2013 at the Stratton Community Center located at 215 Washington Street, Shelbyville, Ky. He will have copies of Remembrances of World Wars for sale at the discounted price of $20 (plus $1.20 state tax). The book can also be found at Terhune’s Style Shop in VillagePlaza, Shelbyville and ordered from for $25.

This free program is being hosted by the Painted Stone Settlers, Inc. of Shelbyville. The public is welcome and light refreshments will be served. Van Stockum is also the author of Kentucky and the Bourbons:  the Story of Allen Dale Farm and Squire Boone and Nicholas Meriwether:  Kentucky Pioneers.


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