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WilliamRev

[Great War] Autobiographies Anonymous

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WilliamRev

[standing up, staring at the floor] My name is William, and I am a Great War diary/memoir addict. Over the last 18 months I have read (or in several cases have bought and am about to read) the following British Great War diaries or memoirs, in just the random order they appear on my bookshelf:

Sidney Rogerson: "Twelve Days on the Somme"

Robert Graves: "Goodbye to All That"

Charles Carrington: "Soldier from the War Returning"

Charles Carrington alias Charles Edmonds: "A Subaltern's War"

Frank Richards: "Old Soldiers Never Die"

Charles Douie: "The Weary Road"

John Bickersteth: "The Bickersteth Diaries 1914-19"

John Glubb: "Into Battle"

Bernard Martin: "Poor Bloody Infantry"

G. Greenwell: "Infant in Arms"

Max Plowman: "A Subaltern on the Somme"

Cameron Stewart: "An Unimportant Officer"

J.C. Dunn: "The War the Infantry Knew"

John Reith: "Wearing Spurs"

Edmund Blundon: "Undertones of War"

Norman Collins: "Last Man Standing"

F.E. Noakes: "The Distant Drum"

Edwin Campion Vaughan: "Some Desperate Glory"

S. Sassoon: "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer"

Len Smith: "Drawing Fire"

I am beyond a cure, so can the group help me to feed my habit by recommending other similar books. British, first-person diaries and memoirs please, written during or as near to the Great War as possible. Please? [starts shaking - withdrawal symptoms are already close if help doesn't arrive soon in the shape of your recommendations...]

Please....

William

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gilbo139

Just read and can't understand why I've only just got round to it......Storm of Steel. Ernst Jungar........good read and from another perspective..........cheers Colin

P S nice list of years I've taken a couple of titles from it.

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kenf48

On my bookshelf next to Bickersteth and Blunden I have George Coppard 'With a machine gun to Cambrai' which is a notable omission from your list, (oh...oh just revealed my OCD).

To really feed your habit, and if you don't want to restrict yourself to British titles you might get hold of Cyril Fall's 'War Books - a critical guide' (1930) which is an annotated bibliography of 728 titles of not only British but also American French, German and Italian writers. (Incidentally published at the height of the 'War Books Controversy').

Soin addition to your list that's 708 (+ George) to go - best get down to Specsavers!

Ken

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RobL

Joseph Murray - 'Gallipoli as I saw it'

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Philip Wilson

Mountains of Moab - The Diary of a Yeoman 1908-19, including Gallipoli and Palestine during the Great War by E.Victor GODRICH edited and published by his son Dr.John GODRICH in 2011.

E.V.GODRICH served with the Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars. Well worth reading.

Philip

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paulgranger

The Gambardier - 'Mark Severn' (Frank Lushington)

Field Guns in France - Neil Fraser-Tytler

A Frenchman in Khaki - Paul Maze

War Letters to a Wife - Rowland Feilding

Mud and Khaki - H S Clapham

As From Kemmel Hill - Arthur Behrend

Warrior - Graham Seton-Hutchison

Footslogger- same author

A Brasshat in No Mans Land - Frank Crozier

Up to Mametz L Wynn Griffith

The Somme - Norman Gladden

Across The Piave - same author

The Weary Road - Charles Douie

The Master of Belhaven War Diaries

A Passionate Prodigality - Guy Chapman

Stand To! - F C Hitchock

General Jack's Diaries - ed. John Terraine

Blimey, there's quite a few, aren't there?

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RobL

I'd like to second 'Field Guns in France'. Superb!

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rose of picardy

Stuart Cloete- A Victorian Son ( noone ever talks about this, but I liked it. Very opinionated).

Vera Brittain-Testament of Youth (everyone knows about this and it sparked my interest in the War)

Frances Farmborough-With the Armies of the Tsar

Edited by rose of picardy

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Black Maria

A few old classics that have been reprinted are=

And all for what?,Cuddeford

Haunting years,Andrews

Over the top,Lambert

22 months under fire,Page-Croft

Slaves of the War Lords,Russell

There's a Devil in the Drum,Lucy

Nothing of Importance,Adams

A Generation Missing,Carstairs

Four Years on the Western front,"A Rifleman"(A.Smith)

Somme Harvest,Eyre

And some quite recent classics =

A Kitchener Man's Bit ,Dennis

Of those we Loved,Read(soon to be reprinted)

A Sergeant-Major's War,Shephard

Joffrey's War,Bourne,Bushaway

The Burgoyne Diaries

A life Apart,Thomas

The Ebb and Flow of Battle and In the Cannon's mouth,Campbell

The Unreturning Army,Gordon

The Diary of an Unprofessional Soldier,Nash

and two of my favourite recent books are,Hell on Earth(Burder) and 30 odd feet below Belgium (Stockwin).

There are so many classic memoirs that deserve to be reprinted, such as,The Land-Locked Lake,Hanbury-Sparrow,

The Winding Road Unfolds,Hope,

Other Ranks,Tilsley.

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Dawson

Time to leave the ploughshares. William Carr

Is one of my favourite books.

And is well worth seeking out.

My collection must number a thousand now.

And my all time favourite with the above, is Some Desperate Glory.

Regards,

Ian

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rflory

Some autobiographies of Royal Artillery officers which I don't think have been mentioned:

Diary of the Retirement from Mons August 1914 by Capt. H. B. Bartram, RHA, 1915

Gun Fodder: The Diary of Four Years of War by Major A. Hamilton Gibbs, 1919

A Memoir of Lt.-Col. Edward Anthony Steel, DSO, RHA and RFA by Col. J. P. Steel, RE, 1921

A Two Years Interlude France 1916-1918 by Major R. A Wilson, DSO, RGA

Palestine Memories 1917-1918-1925 by Lieut. Robert H. Goodsall, RFA (TF), 1925

Memoirs of the Great War, Lt. Col. H. M. Davson, CMG, DSO

Pushed and the Return Push by 'Quex' (Capt. G H F Nichols, RFA), 1919

With the British Guns in Italy by Lieut. Hugh Dalton, RGA, 1919

Three Years in France with the Guns by C. A. Rose, 1919

A Gunner's Crusade: The Campaign in the Desert, Palestine & Syria by Antony Bluett

War as a Temporary Occupation: First World War Memoirs of a Second Lieutenant by Lieut. Frank Walter Paish, MC, RFA

Echo of the Guns: Recollections of an Artillery Officer 1914-18 by Harry Siepmann

Gunner Subalteran 1914-1918 by Julian Tyndale-Biscoe

An Artillery Officer in the First World War by Colonel R. Macleod, DSO, MC, RAF

The Memoirs of Dennis Wheatley: Officer and Temporary Gentleman by Dennis Wheatley

Memoirs of an Artillery Officer 1915-1918 by Major Ynyr Probert, RFA

Dick Flory

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barkalotloudly

Some i would recommend

Salute of Guns ..boyd

Surgery on tresles ....{excellent }..begg

To the last ridge ..Downing

Ghosts have warm Hands Bird

Journal of Private Frazier

Soul of the camp

Grey battalion

Dinki Di Nurse

there are loads more but these spring to mind

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seaJane

Bruce Bairnsfather's "Bullets and Billets" is one that I have which doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet.

I also have, and can recommend, May Wedderburn Cannan's "Grey Ghosts and Voices" - one of the few books ever to have made me cry. Her earlier volume, "The Lonely Generation", I haven't read. For information on her: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wcannan.htm

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RobL

Some autobiographies of Royal Artillery officers which I don't think have been mentioned:

Diary of the Retirement from Mons August 1914 by Capt. H. B. Bartram, RHA, 1915

Gun Fodder: The Diary of Four Years of War by Major A. Hamilton Gibbs, 1919

A Memoir of Lt.-Col. Edward Anthony Steel, DSO, RHA and RFA by Col. J. P. Steel, RE, 1921

A Two Years Interlude France 1916-1918 by Major R. A Wilson, DSO, RGA

Palestine Memories 1917-1918-1925 by Lieut. Robert H. Goodsall, RFA (TF), 1925

Memoirs of the Great War, Lt. Col. H. M. Davson, CMG, DSO

Pushed and the Return Push by 'Quex' (Capt. G H F Nichols, RFA), 1919

With the British Guns in Italy by Lieut. Hugh Dalton, RGA, 1919

Three Years in France with the Guns by C. A. Rose, 1919

A Gunner's Crusade: The Campaign in the Desert, Palestine & Syria by Antony Bluett

War as a Temporary Occupation: First World War Memoirs of a Second Lieutenant by Lieut. Frank Walter Paish, MC, RFA

Echo of the Guns: Recollections of an Artillery Officer 1914-18 by Harry Siepmann

Gunner Subalteran 1914-1918 by Julian Tyndale-Biscoe

An Artillery Officer in the First World War by Colonel R. Macleod, DSO, MC, RAF

The Memoirs of Dennis Wheatley: Officer and Temporary Gentleman by Dennis Wheatley

Memoirs of an Artillery Officer 1915-1918 by Major Ynyr Probert, RFA

Dick Flory

Dick, aside from 'A Gunners's Crusade' which I have a copy of, are there any artillery books that cover the non-western front theatre?

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Martin Bennitt

Two free to download:

On the Right of the British Line - Captain Gilbert Nobbs

Ladies from Hell - Douglas Pinkerton

cheers Martin B

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aengland

'A Passionate Prodigality' by Guy Chapman.... a great read

Andrew

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WilliamRev

I'm loving all these suggestions, giving me ample scope to feed my addiction. Many thanks!

At present I am just interested in the Western Front (although I feel a weird Gallipoli craving coming on), and have investigated a number of the books recommended above: I have found four that are available cheaply, new or second-hand on Amazon, and which I have ordered (using the GWF fund-raising Amazon link of course).

William

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kenneth505

don't forget Middle parts of Fortune - Her majesties Soldiers We.

Or that French fellow that reminds one of Proust...

Are there new first person naratives coming home that aren't written for HBO?

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Marilyne

Dear William,

with the greastest regard to your terrible condition, I fear that you are beyond any help !!

But is is very well known that to stop an addiction just like that, from one day to another, might lead to very bad withdrawal symptons, so in order to avoid this, I'll prescribe you a very short list of additional memoirs. Small amounts might help !!

Patrick Mc Gill: "The Great Push"

Frank Dunham: "The Long Carry"

Harold Daerden: "Medicine and Duty"

Gavin Royon, Editor: "Massacre of the innocents: The Crofton diaries, Ypres 1914-1915"

Gen. Jack Seely: "Warrior - the amazing story of a real war horse" (absolutely amazing book !!! - and it doesn't really count as memoir, it's about a horse!! )

and in case you can read French:

Louis Barthas: "les Carnets de guerre de Louis Barthas, tonnelier"

Paul Tuffrau! 1914-1918: "Quatre années sur le front. Carnets d'un combattant".

Daniel Mornet: "Tranchées de Verdun"

Louis Maufrai: "J'étais médecin dans les tranchées"

Good luck!!

Marilyne

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Marilyne

I also recommend that you read Pierre Chaine's "Mémoires d'un rat". it's about Ferdinand, old trench rat. I do hope it's available in english .. not so sure.

Henri Barbusse "Le Feu - journal d'une escouade" is certainly available in English. It's mostly listed as novel, although inspired by Barbusse's stint on the front.

also very interesting is Stefan Zweig's "Die Welt von Gestern", also available in english. It's Zweig's view on the end of the 9th century, society as it was at that time and the world of illusions that was shattered by the coming of the war.

MM.

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tipperary

Patrick Mc Gill's Red Horizon

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kenneth505

Henri Barbusse "Le Feu - journal d'une escouade"

That's the one that reminds me of Proust. It was in wide circulation well before the end of the war.

Copies are easily found online.

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Mary Kemp

Go to Internet Archive and download all the amazing books of POW's. Two of my favourites are Comrades in Captivity by FW Harvey and Prisoner of War by Andre Warnod. Enjoy....

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stiletto_33853

The Anger of the Guns by John Nettleton

Villiers-Stuart goes to war, by R.M. Maxwell

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rflory

RobL wrote:

Dick, aside from 'A Gunners's Crusade' which I have a copy of, are there any artillery books that cover the non-western front theatre?

Rob: Three books cover artillery actions in areas other than the Western Front:

Palestine Memories 1917-1918-1925 by Lieut. Robert H. Goodsall, RFA (TF), 1925 [Palestine]

Gunner Subaltern 1914-1918 by Julian Tyndale-Biscoe, 1971 [ireland, 1917; Egypt and Palestine, 1917-1918]

Amateur Gunners: The Adventures of an Amateur Soldier in France, Salonica and Palestine in the Royal Field Artillery by A Douglas Thorburn (former Captain, RFA SR).

Regards, Dick

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