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Saving Lives
22 August, 2017

Saving Lives

The family value greatly their Great-Uncle's campaigning spirit and dedication to the rights of others - which is discussed in a film made with Richard Doyle. See HERE. The Estate also reveals documentation, letters and photography from their insider perspective of 'The Man' as a Campaigner HERE.

Saving Lives, a book by Philip Abbott

Inspired by a collection of letters received by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle during the First World War, Philip Abbott sets out to explore the campaign to provide body armour to British soldiers serving in the trenches.

Setting the letters in the context of the terrible losses suffered during the Battle of the Somme, Abbott reveals the actions of the War Office and Ministry of Munitions in providing better protection for the troops.

He examines Conan Doyle’s personal motives for involvement, and investigates the part played by another Edinburgh graduate, Caleb Saleeby, in promoting the development of helmets, body armour and shields.

Saving Lives is an absorbing account of how the creator of Sherlock Holmes used his fame to campaign against the horrific casualties on the Western Front.


‘This account of Conan Doyle's campaign to protect soldiers, particularly after the horrors of the Somme, shows the surprising compassion of one of Britain's best known writers. It is a most compelling read.’ General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL

‘By exploring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's largely unknown efforts, Philip Abbott reveals an important and overlooked chapter in the rebirth of modern body armour – a story that continues to unfold in conflict zones around the world today.’ -- Donald J. La Rocca, Curator, Department of Arms and Armour, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

‘A fascinating and superbly researched connection between a beloved author of fiction and the brutal reality of industrial warfare’ -- Jonathan Ferguson, Curator of Firearms, Royal Armouries

Royal Armouries

Other News

7 July, 2021

Storytel and The Conan Doyle Estate

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25 May, 2021

Remembering Jon Lellenberg

The worlds of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle enthusiasts have lost a giant. Jon Lellenberg, invested in the Baker Street Irregulars as "Rodger Prescott of Evil Memory" in 1974, passed away on April 24, 2021 after a short illness. In memory of Jon - the Baker Street Irregulars have produced an hour long podcast.

28 April, 2021

With Heavy Heart

Conan Doyle Estate Ltd and the family of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle announce the death of our dear friend and invaluable colleague Jon Lellenberg


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