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Remembered Today:

Twelve Days on The Somme


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I have just finished this book. It is a wonderful read. A classic account of life in trenches and the front line. Rogerson had studied at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and it shows in his prose. The account is beautifully written and is insightful. My edition also includes prints of the author's pencil drawings. The action is centred around Dewdrop Trench, Lesboeufs Wood, with Sailly Saillisel to the left and Ginchy and Morval to the right.

Excellent read, highly recommended

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If you liked 'Twelve Days', there is a further memoir, 'The Last of the Ebb', which covers Rogerson's time during the Battle of the Aisne, in May 1918. You might also like 'General Jack's Diary' edited by John Terraine. Jack was Rogerson's CO during the period when 'Twelve Days' took place.

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  • 3 months later...

You might be interested in my copy?!

It came from an Oxfam bookshop & it is a Ist edition of Twelve Days by Sidney Rogerson.

It was owned by Major Imrie & passed to his son, Captain Imrie. There are original WW1 trench maps in a sleeve at the back with a hand written account of an action involving Major Imrie in the same area & at the same time as Rogerson who was a Capt. in the West Yorkshire Regiment.

If you visit www.themanchesters.com & read topic No. 3081.0 'Major William Imrie - 1st Bn. Frontier Force Rifles & D Com. 2nd Scottish Rifles' you will see & read an amazing story about the book, the author Rogerson, Sir Basil Lidell Hart who did the acknowledgement, Stanley Cursiter who did the pencil illustrations in the book as well as the Imries & their family today. :D

You may not be aware of this but Cursiter has published an Autobiography called 'Looking Back' - I recommend you getting a copy from your local library as very hard to find. Within it is a Great War section where he describes his discovery of a revolutionary process to immediately develop aerial photos without them having to go back behind the lines. This meant that artillery could accurately bomb trenches & positions & for this he was awarded an OBE. Cursiter was also appointed Limner to the Oueen & painted her receiving the Crown Jewels of Scotland. This hangs in Holyrood House in Edinburgh to this day. He was also Director of the Scottish National Gallery.

Hope you take the time & trouble to see the whole story on the Manchester Regiment forum.

Will post images relevant to the book & all the men associated with it.




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Sir Basil Liddell Hart image.

Stanley Cursiter image.



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Major William Imrie image. He is standing to the right of his brother David.


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Cursiter's painting of the Queen receiving the Honours of Scotland.


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  • 1 year later...

Currently reading this book, and I'm interested in the Canadians that served with the unit:

from page 23...

MacLaren -- "the second-in-command, an officer on the reserve wrenched by the war from the comfortable home in Ontario which he never will see again."

Sankey -- "a 2nd Lieutenant just promoted from the ranks of the Canadians, is temporarily in command of D Company."

[this would appear to be Thomas Sankey, who died on December 13, 1917; there are two men with this name in the CEF database, but most likely he was the man who had enlisted with the 19th Battalion, CEF.]

Matheson -- "another promoted Canadian, is acting adjutant."

from page 41...

"Skett had sent out a covering party under a 2nd Lieutenant named Pym,... who was yet another importation from the ranks of the Canadian forces..."

The book describes how Pym then goes missing, and later when the battalion has returned to the rear area, his fate is the topic of some discussion; Rogerson then concludes: "But the disappearance of Pym must remain a real mystery of the Great War." (p. 110)

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In my edition, the introduction by Malcolm Brown states that the late Rose Coombs considered this was THE book to read about the Somme. Having worked with Rose for a few years, as a recommendation that's good enough for me!


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