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Long before daybreak


Chris_Baker
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High praise indeed , sounds just the sort of book for me . Thank you for bringing my attention to it .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just finished reading it and very much enjoyed it . I agree the best parts are the incidents when out of the line and the interactions with his 

headquarters chums ( especially Bert the cook ! ) . Maybe his recollections of battle were too hazy to describe in greater detail or it could be

that they were still too painful . One incident puzzled me and that was when he was in the shell hole with an officer who he first thought 

was a private as he wore a Tommie's jacket ( to make him less conspicuous to snipers ) , but then he saw his braid and star on the sleeve . 

 

My only disappointments in the book were that it wasn't in a more durable format ( hardback ) and it finished too soon !

 

 

Edited by Black Maria
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Admin

Received this as a Christmas present from my son, looking forward to reading it. 
Michelle 

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Chris, thank you so much for your review!

Since my family discovered Albert Clayton's memoir and I published the book 'Long Before Daybreak'  I have enjoyed researching the people and places he mentions, and having now joined this forum I hope that others who read the book will be able to help me fill in some more details and continue this journey of discovery. Of course when we found his manuscript I had no idea whether any of the story was authentic or to what extent he may have embelished his memories to make it a good read. I have been pleased to discover that from other sources such as the Battalion War Diary his memory was very good, maybe partly due to him being one of the few non-drinkers! I have also looked up the names of the men he describes and found most of them recorded in medal rolls ands other records too. For anyone intererested I have put a summary of these findings on the website www.longbeforedaybreak.com

 

Black Maria, I share your wish that the story was longer! If there is ever a second edition I would hope to provide some references to other memoirs that can fill what life was like for the POWs in the Ingolstadt camp. Though my ultimate hope is that this part of his story is waiting to be found in another dusty cupboard, I fear we will have to accept this. Before finding the document our only family knowledge was that Albert was a POW and said he suffered terrible treatment at the hands of his captors, so despite his talents as a writer it was maybe just too painful to record.  

 

Micah Duckworth

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4 hours ago, MJDuckworth said:

 

 

Black Maria, I share your wish that the story was longer! If there is ever a second edition I would hope to provide some references to other memoirs that can fill what life was like for the POWs in the Ingolstadt camp. Though my ultimate hope is that this part of his story is waiting to be found in another dusty cupboard, I fear we will have to accept this. Before finding the document our only family knowledge was that Albert was a POW and said he suffered terrible treatment at the hands of his captors, so despite his talents as a writer it was maybe just too painful to record.  

 

 

Now that would be a find but i expect you are right about his possible reluctance to dwell on his prisoner of war experiences . Prisoner of war memoirs by

the other ranks are quite few and far between but the ones that I've read all contain quite harrowing details of their treatment by the Germans , especially 

those who were forced to work in the salt /coal mines .

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Admin

A good little book, enjoying reading it. 

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