Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

2nd Devons war diary


Recommended Posts

2nd Devons war diary

The 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment and its Lost Men 1914-1919

by Martin Body

published by Pollinger in Print, 2012

ISBN 978 1 905665 84 6

cover price - not stated - current Amazon Price £17.99

Paperback, 478pp plus glossary and bibliography

Also available in Kindle and other eBook editions

Inspired by the story of his great uncle Charlie Yates, killed at Ovillers on 1 July 1916 while serving with the 2nd Devons, Martin Body has produced a useful transcription of the battalion's war diary. It covers the entire war as recorded by the battalion and includes occasional explanatory notes and maps. The war diary is held at the National Archives (piece WO95/1712) and is now available as a downloadable (but inevitably not searchable) PDF for just £3.36. As with all diaries the level of detail recorded varies from day to day, going from terse one line saying "training" up to dense explanations of plans, positions and narratives of action. Individuals below commissioned rank are rarely named.

The diary is supported by a listing - presented chronologically and alphabetically by surname - of the men of the battalion who lost their lives in the war. The details are taken from the 1921 HMSO publication "Soldiers Died in the Great War" and the registers held by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Overall it is a useful reference and will be of interest to those with a connection to the battalion or the brigade or division under whose command it came. The paperback is, at almost 500 pages, quite chunky; the eBook editions handy to have in your pocket on a battlefield tour.

I have to say that at Amazon's £17.99 it is a fairly expensive work for a paperback, but it is nicely produced and given the hours it needs to transcribe a diary not unreasonable in view of the personal effort and dedication the author has brought to this work.

Perhaps an inspiration for other GWF members to do something similar with "their" unit.

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
  • Create New...