Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

The Reluctant Tommy


Ruth Ward
 Share

Recommended Posts

Many thanks for your thoughts, Ian. - They've prompted a few more questions.

He claims that his C.O. sent him & 3 others, "to collect the required information and lay a telephone line from his command post to the new front line.

Would seem a sensible thing to do - establish communications and find out what is happening

Was it normal for a heavy battery to have a telephone line linking them to the infantry? I thought all the data about our infantry positons came from HQ & senior H.A. staff co-ordinating batteries etc (via aerial observation). My thinking was that the battery would have tried to re-establish lines with the O.P.s, H.Q. & the like.

that 2 of the men weren't telephonists & had never laid a line in their lives,

2 men to carry the line and unwind it from the drum, trained telephonist (ie Skirth) to join the line. If it was an urgent task, telephonists may have been tied up, so the need would be to find 2 men to effectively be carriers.

That makes sense. However, Skirth p.71 has Bill & Geordie line-testing - they find communication with the C.P. cut & have to re-trace their steps to find the break. I assume line-testing requires a bit of know-how?

Ruth

Edit: I just realised this morning that Skirth may not have been a trained telephonist at this time. He says p.347 that he learnt about repairing field telephone lines from Windy Clark who he claims p.79 came as a replacement for Geordie several months later. (Geordie died 8th June according to Skirth p.72). However, confusingly, Skirth says p.77 that Windy became his (Skirth's) trainee telephonist. He also says p.74 that Windy (& Jock) hauled him into the lorry when he returned from his failed mission on 8th June! :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sean

Thanks indeed for your notes. - Have you managed to get hold of any of the Brigade diaries, or maps for the Western Front? If you have, could you let me know the refs, so I can order them?

"Funnily enough I have just returned from Belgium and last saturday was standing on the ground where 293 were positioned on 7th and then after moving on 8th June." - that's spooked me a bit!

"Skirth offers some kind of mangled account of these events?" - I find it hard to believe Skirth's account of 8th June 1917, because the battery were firing that day until 8.40 pm, according to the unit diary, so the claim that they did not know where the infantry were, & therefore couldn't fire doesn't stand up, does it? (At least until 8.40pm). And, if the battery pulled out to a new position & came under orders of X group, would that be an appropriate time to send personnel off to look for the infantry? Skirth's mission failed, but the battery's guns were firing early in the morning of 9th June.

I get the feeling sometimes that Skirth exploited certain 'ideas' he came across when he was doing his research - 8th June being one such example - in order to construct his story. I think he took the difficulty of keeping in touch with the 'foremost infantry' - the one problem mentioned in that section of the RRA History together with Bennett's experience of 7th June (assuming he had access to his diary at the time) and wove them into his narrative.

"ps I'll send you photographs of the positions as they are today when Easyjet find our luggage" - I'll look forward to seeing those - when your luggage eventually turns up.

Regards

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ruth,

Spooky indeed.

no brigade diary but I have the trench maps and my father-in-law bought me Belgian 'ordnance survey' type maps of Flanders, there has been very little change in the area since 1917 and its quite easy to find the 1917 locations on the modern maps and even easier when you stand there and survey the lie of the land.

when i said a mangled version of the facts I meant that some similiar events occured to someone around about the same time not necessarily anything to do with RS.

no luggage as yet !

Sean

Hi Sean

Thanks indeed for your notes. - Have you managed to get hold of any of the Brigade diaries, or maps for the Western Front? If you have, could you let me know the refs, so I can order them?

"Funnily enough I have just returned from Belgium and last saturday was standing on the ground where 293 were positioned on 7th and then after moving on 8th June." - that's spooked me a bit!

"Skirth offers some kind of mangled account of these events?" - I find it hard to believe Skirth's account of 8th June 1917, because the battery were firing that day until 8.40 pm, according to the unit diary, so the claim that they did not know where the infantry were, & therefore couldn't fire doesn't stand up, does it? (At least until 8.40pm). And, if the battery pulled out to a new position & came under orders of X group, would that be an appropriate time to send personnel off to look for the infantry? Skirth's mission failed, but the battery's guns were firing early in the morning of 9th June.

I get the feeling sometimes that Skirth exploited certain 'ideas' he came across when he was doing his research - 8th June being one such example - in order to construct his story. I think he took the difficulty of keeping in touch with the 'foremost infantry' - the one problem mentioned in that section of the RRA History together with Bennett's experience of 7th June (assuming he had access to his diary at the time) and wove them into his narrative.

"ps I'll send you photographs of the positions as they are today when Easyjet find our luggage" - I'll look forward to seeing those - when your luggage eventually turns up.

Regards

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ruth,

Spooky indeed.

no brigade diary but I have the trench maps and my father-in-law bought me Belgian 'ordnance survey' type maps of Flanders, there has been very little change in the area since 1917 and its quite easy to find the 1917 locations on the modern maps and even easier when you stand there and survey the lie of the land.

when i said a mangled version of the facts I meant that some similiar events occured to someone around about the same time not necessarily anything to do with RS.

no luggage as yet !

Sean

Hi Sean

Could I be very cheeky & ask for details/refs of the trench maps? (I'm very envious of you having visited some of 293's positions - I'd love to see them for myself one day).

Re Skirth - I agree with you. I think it a distinct possibility that he picked up ideas from other sources not just those directly related to 293. I suspect, also, that he took issue with certain things that he read & used them as well.

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for your thoughts, Ian. - They've prompted a few more questions.

He claims that his C.O. sent him & 3 others, "to collect the required information and lay a telephone line from his command post to the new front line.

Would seem a sensible thing to do - establish communications and find out what is happening

Was it normal for a heavy battery to have a telephone line linking them to the infantry? I thought all the data about our infantry positons came from HQ & senior H.A. staff co-ordinating batteries etc (via aerial observation). My thinking was that the battery would have tried to re-establish lines with the O.P.s, H.Q. & the like.

that 2 of the men weren't telephonists & had never laid a line in their lives,

2 men to carry the line and unwind it from the drum, trained telephonist (ie Skirth) to join the line. If it was an urgent task, telephonists may have been tied up, so the need would be to find 2 men to effectively be carriers.

That makes sense. However, Skirth p.71 has Bill & Geordie line-testing - they find communication with the C.P. cut & have to re-trace their steps to find the break. I assume line-testing requires a bit of know-how?

Ruth

Edit: I just realised this morning that Skirth may not have been a trained telephonist at this time. He says p.347 that he learnt about repairing field telephone lines from Windy Clark who he claims p.79 came as a replacement for Geordie several months later. (Geordie died 8th June according to Skirth p.72). However, confusingly, Skirth says p.77 that Windy became his (Skirth's) trainee telephonist. He also says p.74 that Windy (& Jock) hauled him into the lorry when he returned from his failed mission on 8th June! :wacko:

Ruth

I belive you are correct in the normal practices you have outlined. The initial question was around how plausible the account was. The circumstances I described are possible explanations, but pure conjecture of events nearly 100 years ago. I could envisage them happening. - though others may disagree.

There are other accounts you have posted where I have felt that the context was just not right - again based upon modern experiences - however many principles of gunnery remain the same. There may be some plausibility around this one.

I still remain with my own conclusion that he was the unit Walt (Walter Mitty).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went to the Imperial War Museum yesterday Friday 22nd July 2011, and started to go through the material that the IWM archive (J.R. Skirth 9023 99/53/1 ) hold there. I only had five hours at the archives and will have to make another visit.

The material available for consultation consists of four large ring bound excercise books. The contents are not necessarily in date order , and consist of parts of a longer narrative, extracts which seem to be hand copied from Skirth's diaries, some shorter pieces of work relating to Skirth's war time experiences.

In between all the pages are postcards, photos, maps, picures taken from holiday brochures, similar to a scrapbook.

I will write up a contents list of the four volumes for anyone else who wants to consult them. But the said pages are quite jumbled.

From the Introduction to 'The Reluctant Tommy' ( page xiv) I gather that Ronald Skirth's daughter Jean divided up her father's writing into four volumes-which are available to be consulted at the IWM- and has retained the fifth volume: Ronald Skirth's editor Duncan Barrett has been able to see the fifth volume ( TRT page xv).

Will post more but one observation -has anyone managed to trace 'Reggie Starr' mentioned in TRT page 346 ? The telephonist replacement to Windy ? Skirth mention that he was 'thirty years of age' and from the Midlands? Starr is killed in an explosion on the Front in Flanders. Dates are not given but I am presuming that he was killed between June and November 1917. Skirth uses Reggie Starr's death as another 'example' of Major Snow's indifference to his men's suffering . I can't trace Starr on Commonwealth War Graves Commission database ? Has anyone else tried?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one observation -has anyone managed to trace 'Reggie Starr' mentioned in TRT page 346 ? The telephonist replacement to Windy ? Skirth mention that he was 'thirty years of age' and from the Midlands? Starr is killed in an explosion on the Front in Flanders. Dates are not given but I am presuming that he was killed between June and November 1917. Skirth uses Reggie Starr's death as another 'example' of Major Snow's indifference to his men's suffering . I can't trace Starr on Commonwealth War Graves Commission database ? Has anyone else tried?

I can't access the hyper-link function due to the current 'technical difficulties' afflicting the site, but he's listed on CWGC as 96717, Cpl. Arthur Starr, 293 Sge. Bty. RGA, age 33, died on 21st August 1917, buried in Canada Farm cemetery.

The name 'Reggie' has the feel of being a nick-name and, of course, this was being recounted by someone about 60 yrs after the event.  He's 33 rather than 30, born Battersea, enlisted London, lived Streatham, wife appears to have moved to the Isle of Wight after the war.  No evidence of a link to the midlands.

No memoir written with such a great distance from the event can ever be regarded as necessarily historically accurate, and I think that this is a 'given' for anyone who attempts to use that sort of memoir for research purposes.  Unless, of course, the memoir in question is written from a diary.  But even then you will get an overemphasis of certain aspects.  Often that's an advantage as it allows the event(s) to be placed within a context that is often lacking from the contemporary account.

I remember the drama of Michael Heseltine's resignation from Mrs. Thatcher's cabinet and his account of how he walked out of a cabinet meeting.  About 5 other cabinet members who were present subsequently wrote autobiographies based on their diaries and memories of their time in government and, of course, all of them mentioned Heseltine's resignation.  Interestingly, their versions of Heseltine's big moment were all different. And they were all written within 10 years of the event, and all with the benefit of diaries.

I can't help wondering whether the ultimate issue with respect to TRT is whether or not the fact of historical 'distance', and how that might affect the depiction of events, has been adequately represented (or considered) in the production of the published memoir.  I reckon that you'll find a lot of discrepancies in any memoir written at such far remove, and particularly in one that is exposed to the sort of forensic analysis that is being attempted here.  I've found some surprising errors in some very famous and well-regarded wartime memoirs (some of which have been mentioned earlier - some not).

I think that this is a very interesting thread, and Ruth has certainly made some interesting analyses of Skirth and his likely motivations in writing this memoir.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Headgardener. Great. This really could be the chap that Skirth refers to, and yes as he was writing sixty years later, his insistence that 'Reggie' Starr had a connection to the Midlands could have got confused. According to TRT 'Reggie' showed Skirth a family picture taken at Skegness, but of course the family might not have actually lived in the Midlands.

But 293 and RGA would fit, along with his age. Regards, Michael Bully

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There were others in 293 from the Midlands area for example- 109777 James Bennett, , from Derby, a signaller so would be in Skirths technical group, along with Arthur Starr, and also killed on WF, 06/10/1917 or 108631 James Mollart from Staffordshire killed in action -11/10/1917 asphyxiated following buried by shell.

<br />Thanks Headgardener. Great. This really could be the chap that Skirth refers to, and yes as he was writing sixty years later, his insistence that 'Reggie' Starr had a connection to the Midlands could have got confused. According to TRT 'Reggie' showed Skirth a family picture taken at Skegness, but of course the family might not have actually lived in the Midlands.<br />But 293 and RGA would fit, along with his age. Regards, Michael Bully<br />
<br /><br /><br />
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will post more but one observation -has anyone managed to trace 'Reggie Starr' mentioned in TRT page 346 ? The telephonist replacement to Windy ? Skirth mention that he was 'thirty years of age' and from the Midlands? Starr is killed in an explosion on the Front in Flanders. Dates are not given but I am presuming that he was killed between June and November 1917. Skirth uses Reggie Starr's death as another 'example' of Major Snow's indifference to his men's suffering . I can't trace Starr on Commonwealth War Graves Commission database ? Has anyone else tried?

Michael, my g/f was from the Midlands (Staffordshire) as well.

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michael,

I'd be very interested in a list of contents, I have a real interest in this battery and I'm considering having them copied or visiting to read but only if they add more than what is in TRT, are their photographs from 1917-18 and if so might they be of the 293 siege battery or places where they were posted? does it mention any names other than what we have in the book?

I know I'm very demanding.

Sean

<br />Went to the Imperial War Museum yesterday Friday 22nd July 2011, and started to go through the material that the IWM archive (J.R. Skirth  9023 99/53/1 ) hold there.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't notice other photographs or names of 293 that did not appear in TRT, but I will check again when I return. My second visit should hopefully be able to answer specific questions if I know what to look out for as it were. <br /><br />Something that has just occured to me, the introduction to TRT page xvi,states that Duncan Barrett's transcript ( produced in the preparation of TRT) is at the Imperial War Museum archives. I wonder if this has a separate reference -all I had acess to was the four excercise books I mentioned already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pity about a lack of additional photographs - any of RS with other men from the battery would be really interesting.

<br />I didn't notice other photographs or names of 293 that did not appear in TRT, but I will check again when I return. My second visit should hopefully be able to answer specific questions if I know what to look out for as it were. <br /><br />Something that has just occured to me, the introduction to TRT page xvi,states that Duncan Barrett's transcript ( produced in the preparation of TRT) is at the Imperial War Museum archives. I wonder if this has a separate reference -all I had acess to was the four excercise books I mentioned already.<br />
<br /><br /><br />
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have typed out an attempt to catalogue the contents of each of the four excercise books . Will check this on the next visit and also add a list of photographs and maps, magazine articles which are included.

Please PM me with your e mail address if you want a copy.

So far I have noticed a lack of material suggesting that Ronald Skirth was undertaking much in the way of historical research into the Great War. There are lots of cutting from the Italian Tourist Board but so far have only found the following material about the Great War.

EXTRACTS I) Handwritten extract from ‘History of the Great War ‘ John Buchan 1926

2) Press Cutting Review of Volume 4 of ‘War Memoirs of David Lloyd George’ by A.J.Cummings from ‘The Sunday Chronicle’ 26th October 1934

3) Handwritten extract from ‘World War I’ by David Scott Daniel 1965

All three relate to Paschendale

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also note another signaller from 293 injured in the same period and also from the Midlands - 74764 Corporal Arthur Ernest Smith - invalided to UK 24-08-1917- quite a few to get confused with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"No memoir written with such a great distance from the event can ever be regarded as necessarily historically accurate, and I think that this is a 'given' for anyone who attempts to use that sort of memoir for research purposes. Unless, of course, the memoir in question is written from a diary."

Hello Headgardener

Thanks for your post. It has given me food for thought - although it's taken me a while to get my thoughts together.

I can appreciate that memoirs like Skirth's, written so long after the events in question, are likely to contain numerous errors particularly if they are not based on a diary. However, Skirth claims that, "My own little diary-journal has been invaluable in bringing back to me, -where I needed it – the personal details which make the stories individually mine and no one else's." (p.xvii). As an example, on p.66 he says, "The little journal in which I managed to keep a record of my adventures gives a detailed account of the events of 8 June 1917. I wrote it during one of the few quiet intervals that followed. From it I am extracting the essentials so as not to over-sensationalize what is already a gruesome story." (I have almost finished writing up my notes regarding this incident, which I hope to add to the TRT review asap. They do not lend support to Skirth's claim to have kept a diary). Examining Skirth's claims in TRT is important not just to highlight the many inaccuracies/fictionalizations, but also because it shows, to some extent, whether, or not his claim to having kept a contemporary diary/journal is likely to be true.

Michelle Barrett in 'Casualty Figures' has included quite a substantial chapter about Skirth and seems to present a good portion of his memoir as fact (although she also says somewhere in the book that it has been worked up & refined over time). She also seems convinced that Skirth based his account on a diary (- gleaned from my FoI enquiry). It would seem, the inclusion of Skirth in her book gives academic support to his claim to have suffered from, and been treated for shell shock/neurasthenia, whilst his claim to have had a diary supports her inclusion of his work in her book! Examining Skirth's claims throughout TRT is important in relation to this too, as they have a bearing on the causes & treatment of his supposed shell-shock. And, as if one book weren't bad enough, I should also add that my g/f is unfairly named and shamed in 'Casualty Figures' too.

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IWM Skirth collection 9023 99/53/1

Ronald Skirth memoirs From ‘Ronella’ Volume 3 Page 133 ( I have catalogued this is my notes as Exercise Book D )

"In April 1919 after my demobilisation I received two letters, both unexpected.The first was enclosed in a very official looking artillery-crested envelope. It consisted of one hand written sheet of paper and a glossy photographic print. The writer proved to be no less than my former chief now Colonel R.A. Snow, DSO etc. etc. (He had stepped up one more rung of the military ladder) and what the contents proved was that he hadn’t recovered his lost memory for had he done so he would never have written at all.The letter expressed his appreciation of my loyal service both to him personally and the battery under his command from the March of 1917 to the February of 1919. He was glad to inform me that as a consequence of my ‘untiring devotion to duty’ throughout the action on the River Pieve (-the last battle fought on Italian soil-) in October 1918 I had been mentioned in dispatches. (This , by the way , was considered to be the next best thing to winning a medal).The original of the print the had enclosed had been taken by the RFC pilot who ‘observed’ the shoot for us during which I worked unaided for two nights and a day. It pictured the damage to roads and railway at a place called Conegliano. The damage was so severe that the movement of enemy forces in that area was seriously interfered with (The excellence of the gunnery was largely the result of the accuracy of my calculation. Snow didn’t admit it, but its nevertheless true).There was no’ Thank you Skirth’ for the drawing of mine which he had appropriated for own use earlier in the year.I suppose the fact that the Colonel had acknowledged my existence, let alone written appreciative words about me, should have given me a glow of pleasure. It didn’t. I destroyed both his letter and photo forthwith Page 134I knew I would be much happier forgetting Snow than remembering him. I still am. "My emphasis

'The Reluctant Tommy' page 241 compares quite closely with this but the sentence I have nighlighted above from the original excercise book;

"He was glad to inform me that as a consequence of my ‘untiring devotion to duty’ throughout the action on the River Pieve (-the last battle fought on Italian soil-) in October 1918 I had been mentioned in dispatches. "

Appears in TRT as

"He was glad to inform me that as a consequence of my 'untiring devotion to duty' I had been mentioned in dispatches"

I was wondering what Ronald Skirth had done of such signficance in October 1918. The TRT seems to be quiet on this and the implication is that Major Snow was refering here to June 1918. Was Ronald Skirth ever mentioned in dispatches?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ruth, I am sorry that you have also had to put up with your grandfather being so unfairly maligned in 'Casualty Figures', in addition to TRT. I hadn't thought of this angle.

As for Michelle Barrett refering to Skirth 'basing his account on a diary'- well how can this claim be substantiated without a diary being produced ? Regards, Michael Bully.

Michelle Barrett in 'Casualty Figures' has included quite a substantial chapter about Skirth and seems to present a good portion of his memoir as fact (although she also says somewhere in the book that it has been worked up & refined over time). She also seems convinced that Skirth based his account on a diary (- gleaned from my FoI enquiry). It would seem, the inclusion of Skirth in her book gives academic support to his claim to have suffered from, and been treated for shell shock/neurasthenia, whilst his claim to have had a diary supports her inclusion of his work in her book! Examining Skirth's claims throughout TRT is important in relation to this too, as they have a bearing on the causes & treatment of his supposed shell-shock. And, as if one book weren't bad enough, I should also add that my g/f is unfairly named and shamed in 'Casualty Figures' too.

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello

I've added notes on 'War Story No.1: After the Battle, Messines' to the Review of TRT.

Edit: Just adding sources

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IWM Skirth collection 9023 99/53/1

Ronald Skirth memoirs From 'Ronella' Volume 3 Page 133 Onwards ( I have catalogued this is my notes as Exercise Book D )

Following from my post of 26th July 2011

"Only a few days after receiving this, one the second letter came, and that's sequel No.3 This one surprised me even more than the first- and that's saying something. I can recall the wording of its contents quite clearly-even after a lapse of 52 years. It went like this

"Dear old Comrade

I thought I must write to tell you I think you was a real sport to cover up the way you did concerning a certain unfortunate incident out in Italy. it was real decent of you to keep your word and not split on me"...The rest was blah-bah ending in

"I hope your getting on alright

Your old comrade and pal

Sergeant Bromley MM "

Incredible as it may seem he signed his letter like that-ending it was a reminder that his gallantary had won him a Military medal and promotion! "

(My emphasis also " I hope your (sic) getting on alright " is how I noted sentence when seeing the original )

The Reluctant Tommy version page 241

"Only a few days later the second letter came. This one surprised me even more than the first-and that's saying something.

Dear Old Comrade,

I thought I must write to tell you I think you were a real sport to cover up the way you did conerning a certain unfortunate incident out in Italy. It was real decent of you to keep your word and not split on me.

I hope you're getting on alright.

Your old comrade and pal

Sergeant R. Bromley M.M."

Notice how the text has been edited to make Skirth's recollections appear sharper.......

I doubt that Skirth really received any such letter. But even the most ardent defender of TRT has to accept that the readers are asked to believe that Skirth received said letter in 1919 , didn't keep it, but in 1971 remembered its contents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's very good of you to put these pieces of text up - thanks.

The differences are subtle and interesting. I wonder why Mr Barrett edited out "I can recall the wording of its contents quite clearly-even after a lapse of 52 years."? Could it be that he wants the reader to think Skirth has a not-so-good memory - to account for his many errors?

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Ruth

Broadly speaking I found that whole sections of what I read in the four excercise books compared accurately with the text of the TRT. But, as they say, the devil is in the detail !

I think that the editor decided not to include "I can recall the wording of its contents quite clearly-even after a lapse of 52 years" because it draws attention to the fact that Skirth clearly can not ! Skirth goes on to say

"The rest was blah-bah ending in " which indicates that his memory isn't clear, even if such letter ever existed.

I think that the first piece of editing I highlighted is more significant.

"He was glad to inform me that as a consequence of my ‘untiring devotion to duty’ throughout the action on the River Pieve (-the last battle fought on Italian soil-) in October 1918 I had been mentioned in dispatches. "

Why if Skirth's moment of glory was in October 1918, is this not reflected in TRT ? The emphasis of TRT is subtly directed back to June 1918.

Regards

Michael Bully

It's very good of you to put these pieces of text up - thanks.

The differences are subtle and interesting. I wonder why Mr Barrett edited out "I can recall the wording of its contents quite clearly-even after a lapse of 52 years."? Could it be that he wants the reader to think Skirth has a not-so-good memory - to account for his many errors?

Ruth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've hit it, Ruth. Skirth's actions in manufacturing his account give the lie to his being able to recall such detail. He even needed the Italian Tourist Board to remind him of where he'd been and, apparently, didn't get that too right either. Living a manufactured lie is incredibly difficult. The "editor" of Skirth's fantasy knows this all too well. Antony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's interesting when looking at the original excercise books is that a lot of the information on Italy could be from a scrapbook, ( if anyone remembers them ! They seem rather redundant in the computer age) .

Yes the great weakness in TRT is that Skirth claims to remember events of fifty years before is rather stretched.

Where I beg to differ is that it might be too harsh on Skirth to accuse him of "Living a manufactured lie'.......I am hardly his greatest defender , see my posts on this thread, and I have made it abundantly clear that however much he suffered in the Great War , Skirth has no right what so ever to start fabricating accounts against other people, such as Ruth's grandfather. But the whole point of TRT is that there is no evidence that Skirth was intending to publish his writing and all the evidence so far suggests that he was quite reluctant to discuss his Great War service.

I am still interested to see if anyone can find out what happened to Skirth's war service after June 1918?

Regards

Michael Bully

You've hit it, Ruth. Skirth's actions in manufacturing his account give the lie to his being able to recall such detail. He even needed the Italian Tourist Board to remind him of where he'd been and, apparently, didn't get that too right either. Living a manufactured lie is incredibly difficult. The "editor" of Skirth's fantasy knows this all too well. Antony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...