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Remembered Today:

R H Mottram- author of 'The Spanish Farm'


David_Blanchard
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Hello,

Does anyone know which regiment R H Mottram (1883-1971), the author of the 'Spanish Farm', served in during the war?

I have searched the web and found the merest details of his life. Has a biographyof his life been published?

Any help would be appreciated,

Regards

David

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Dear David

He was in the 4th Norfolks where he was Corporal to Roland Leighton (Vera Brittains fiance). Letters are in Norfolk Record Office. Memoir book is "The Window Seat" ( Hutchinson 1954)

Regards, Michelle

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Michelle,

Thanks for the quick reply, I will look the 'The Window Seat' up.

David

PS off to to the Chemin des Dames next saturday.

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PS off to to the Chemin des Dames next saturday.

Rub it in, why don't you! :D

I haven't forgotten those photos I was going to scan, by the way - getting the scanner to work......

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I'm not envious or anything........................(Hoping to go to Le Cateau in June)

Where do you base yourself when you go over?

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Hopefully we have booked in the Mercure hotel at Chamouville, hoping to see Yves Fohlen who works at the Caverne de Dragon

Regards

David

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David,

You may already have found this, but according to the website of the School of History at the University of Kent, the head of the School, Dr Mark Connelly - m.l.connelly@kent.ac.uk - is working on an article about RH Mottram's novels and autobiographical writings about his experiences in the Great War. The web page is dated October 2005, so he may have finished it by now.

For myself, I only know of Mottram from his introduction to Chatto & Windus's 1929 edition of Ernst Jünger's 'The Storm of Steel', translated by Basil Creighton.

Could you, or someone else, advise which of RHM's many books are about the Great War, and perhaps recommend which to read first.

regards

Mick

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Thanks Mick,

I will give Mark a ring- stupid really considering he was my tutor for my research degree,

Regards

David

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David,

If Mark's paper has already been published, perhaps you could post a link to it or details of where it can be obtained.

regards

Mick

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Ralph Hales Mottram was from a strong Unitarian family from Norwich. His father was Chief Clerk at Gurney's Bank in Norwich. Mottram entered the bank but had literary leanings and was encouraged by John Galsworthy, with whom there was a family connection. On the outbreak of war, Mottram joined the TA 4th Norfolks, eventually being commmisioned in 1915. He went to France in October 1915 and was attached to 9th Norfolks, who had suffered badly at Loos, in the Ypres Salient.

In February 1916, there was a call for officers who spoke French and his name was put forward. He joined the British Claims Commission, where French and business training was essential. His job was dealing with compensation claims from Begian and French civilians. He remained with the Commission until June 1919 when he was demobbed.

He started writing the Spanish Farm Trilogy in 1922, with support and advice from Galsworthy. The trilogy was published as a single volume in 1927. The trilogy is excellent and has stood the test of time. It describes the effects of war on civilised people.

There is a short biography of Mottram in "The Flower of Battle" by Hugh Cecil, Steerforth Press, 1996. This is an analysis of how men who had lived through the war, wrote about it. The writers include Richard Aldington, Victor Yeates, Wilfred Ewart, Gilbert Frankau and Herbert Read. Well worth getting hold of a copy in you're interested in the literary side of the war.

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Mottram wrote a personal account of his war which was published by Scholartis Press in Three Personal Records of the War. I suspect it is extremely hard to find but the good news is that much or all of it was reproduced in "Fifty Amazing Stories of the Great War" which has been much discussed in a nother thread over the last few days and which can be obtained quite inexpensively.

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  • 6 years later...

Only recently came accross the work of R. H. Mottram as found a chapter about him in 'The Flower of Battle-How Britain Wrote the Great War ' by Hugh Cecil, Steerforth Press, 1995.

I had overlooked the Roland Leighton connection.

Very strongly recommend this book for information upon writers who wrote about the Great War but are not so highly known - or even overlooked.

Regards

Michael Bully

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11 copies of 'Three Personal Records of the Great War' currently listed on Abebooks. Well worth reading. I foolishly once passed up the chanece to buy a copy signed by all three authors! Ho Hum!

David

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Sorry to be dim David - can you give some more details on Three Personal Records as abe isn't giving me anything....

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oops - ignore previous - got it -

Title: Three Personal Records of the War

Publisher: The Scholartis Press, London

Publication Date: 1929

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Mottram, R H: Easton, John: Partridge, Eric

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