Hornchurch has seen extraordinary changes over the last 150 years - it has grown from a Victorian village to become a thriving London suburb. Tony Benton’s well-researched and fully illustrated history of this distinctive Essex town, which has been written specially to mark the millennium, tells the story of its development from the sparse early settlement to the densely populated and prosperous community of the present day.He recalls the brewery and the iron works, which were the two main industries of the Victorian period, and the spread of building which took place so rapidly from the late nineteenth century, and he depicts the district and its people during the two world wars. He remembers the considerable sacrifices made by the townspeople in the Great War and in particular the courage of William Leefe Robinson, the Royal Flying Corp pilot who won a VC for shooting down a German airship in 1916. The remarkable exploits of RAF pilots based at Hornchurch during the battle of Britain are also part of the story, as are the expansion and redevelopment of the town over the last 70 years.Tony Benton’s detailed research and the collection of striking photographs he has brought together give a fascinating insight into the growth and character of Hornchurch. His work will make compelling reading for those who live or have lived in the town, and it will be an invaluable record for all those who share his sense of its history.