Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

What WW1 books are you reading?


Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, Maureene said:

Copies of The Times History of the War the are available online

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/First_World_War#History_series_and_periodical_publications

 

Perhaps the red and black covers were just different editions. Some were printed in the UK, some in America.

 

Cheers

Maureen

That could be, my book was printed in New York.

Interestingly there is no publication date.

Link to post
Share on other sites
ilkley remembers

Salute of Guns, Donald Boyd.

 

This is the 2nd Edition published by Pen and Sword in 2012 with an introduction by Michael Orr. The first thing to be said about the author is that his childhood home was next door but one to the house where I live. Boyd was a journalist with a local newspaper before moving on to The guardian and later the BBC. In 1914 he enlisted into the local Ilkley Battery (H) of 4th West Riding RFA and the following year obtained a commission. This is a frank account of life as a 2nd Lieutenant in the RFA and the emotional strategies which helped him to survive life on the front line. The ups and downs of inter officer relations are well documented and he is particularly terse when discussing the attitude of some pre war regular officers. One thing that did surprise was the description of a fellow officer using cocaine recreationally.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Marilyne said:

 

why???

have it as "tryout" on Kindl…

 

M.

Marilyne

I found it a bit dull and repetitive in a drunk soldier shoots another soldier sort of way.

But please don't let me put you off reading as I would be grateful for your comments. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/03/2020 at 23:10, bryanh said:

I have a copy of John Stafford Gowland's book "War Is Like That".

I bought it from a second-hand bookstall when I was about 12.  I'm now 83 years old. It was very well worn when I bought it. The cost would have just pennies.

It was originally owned by Swansea Circulating Library. Was first taken out on either 3rd or 13th October 1934  (Stamp unclear) 

I've read and re-read many times

 

Over the years my copy has become very 'tatty'.  There are some loose pages, but it is all there.  Over the years it has been lent out to relatives and friends. I suppose it could be re-bound.

 

I also have a copy of Gowland's  "Return To Canada".   Another book I would not let go!  When I had finished my National Service in the RAF, I studied Accountancy and this was the prize I won!. I have to admit that the examining body was not the top of the Accounting body.

 

Bryan Hewer

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back home I found ma latest order from Amazon: "Stolen Lives - individual tragedies of the Great War" ... and surprise... I somehow ended up here with a copy signed by Alan Reed himself!! So... playing the also delivered Human : Nature album VERY LOUD, that makes for a nice evening!! 

 

M.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Strictly not a WWI book but I am half way through:

"The Lake Steamers of East Africa..L. G. "Bill" Dennis.

Runnymede Malthouse Publishing, 1996.

.

The book covers all shipping on the lakes of East Africa from the 1890s to the 1990s.

The coverage of WWI is very good with quite a bit of detailed information on the individual vessels and their battles..

.

If 'boring books' about boats in a backwater is your thing then this is one I recommend.

Terry

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Admin
Michelle Young

From Eton  to Ypres, the letters and diaries of Lt Col Wilfrid Abel Smith arrived today. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got ‘Cheerful Sacrifice’ by Jonathan Nichols after listening to a podcast by Paul Reed. It is one of the books he recommended covering Arras, so looking forward to starting that.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Simon R
On 14/04/2020 at 11:39, ilkley remembers said:

Salute of Guns, Donald Boyd.

One thing that did surprise was the description of a fellow officer using cocaine recreationally.  

Eric Cowling, signaller in D245th bde. RFA (TF) was given 'two lots of cocaine' during tooth extraction on active service, then amounts of rum to 'bring him round'.

Link to post
Share on other sites
ilkley remembers
42 minutes ago, Simon R said:

Eric Cowling, signaller in D245th bde. RFA (TF) was given 'two lots of cocaine' during tooth extraction on active service, then amounts of rum to 'bring him round'.

 

It was used regularly as an anaesthetic  in those days I think until Novocaine became more widespread. In Salute of Guns he describes a fellow officer injecting the stuff in a base camp when he was recovering from mild 'shell shock'. Apparently, its use was not unusual especially amongst Canadian troops.  Boyd had enlisted into 11 battery 4th West Riding Brigade which of course became D245 Brigade RFA. A well written about battery with Gee and Shaws history, Norman Tennants, Saturday Night Soldier and Boyd's first chapter 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Marilyne

is it just me or is the list, that is supposed to be reduced during confinement just getting longer and longer.?? 

oh wait... I just ordered more books... LOL

 

moving on: I feel mile re-reading "Mud, blood and Poppycock" right now !! Poppycock being also exactly the right word to describe just the actual stuff, no??? 

 

M.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can not claim to be reading, but have just received 'Zero Hour Z Day' by Johnathan Porter.

This for an upcoming birthday, so have very reluctantly salted it away.  It is a very heavy and

beautifully produced, self published account of the of the operations between Mericourt and

Mametz by the X111 Corps on the first of July 1916.  This was  the only Corps to achieve

it's objectives on the First Day on the Somme.  Am greatly looking forward to starting it. 

 

Mike.

Edited by MikeyH
Link to post
Share on other sites
Don Regiano
1 hour ago, MikeyH said:

Mericourt

 

Maricourt, as per roadsign on edge of our place!  Méricourt is a bit further north.

 

 

IMG_20190709_130953.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

Having acquired the OBE group of medals to the erstwhile Irish-born Balloon Officer turned IMS surgeon, William Thomas Taylor (1895-1961), I am re-reading with great pleasure, "Memoirs of an Old Balloonatic" by Goderic Hodges (Wm. Kimber, 1972).

A son and grandson of the Manse, after war Service in Gallipoli on the ground, and in France in the air, Hodges - who may or may not have been decorated, he was certainly badly wounded - realised that he could no longer enter the Church. He became a teacher instead.

What struck me mostly, was the high calibre of Great War-era subalterns who offered their services in temporary and acting rank - indeed, offered their All - at bargain prices...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Don Regiano said:

 

Maricourt, as per roadsign on edge of our place!  Méricourt is a bit further north.

 

 

IMG_20190709_130953.jpg

 

In my defence, was quoting from memory, my wife had by then spirited the book away!

Mike.

Edited by MikeyH
Link to post
Share on other sites
Don Regiano
3 hours ago, MikeyH said:

 

In my defence, was quoting from memory, my wife had by then spirited the book away!

Mike.

 

No problem Mike.  I was just trying to avoid any confusion!  You will enjoy the book - when you get the opportunity to read it.  Just give yourself enough time if you want to get into the detail.

 

Reg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul bardell

 

 

Just about to start - Winged Sabres by Robert Sellwood -  Pen and Sword. 

 

20 sdn RFC/RAF 

 

looks to be a good read.

 

:poppy:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Darloboy

Just finished 'The Hunters and the Hunted', Bryan Perrett...Pen & Sword.

.

A simple read, it was OK but if the author did use a proof-reader I urge him never to use them again.

Lost track of the number of mistakes ( p23; "Merchant vessels sunk by the Konigsburg in 1914') Actually it is a list of those sunk by the Karlsruhe.

On many occasions the author assumes that the reader will follow his thoughts and 'know' which ship has been hit, this is very noticeable in the single ship duels.

The talk of a 3.7" heavy machine gun or a 90 degree turn 'which blew the forward off the bridge'. 

.

When mistakes stop the flow of a book it irks me! ...Could have been better.

.

127 pages and reduced from £18.99 to £3.99 (thankfully) passed a few hours away and there are some good illustrations.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Darloboy

Just started;

The Last Century of Sea Power Volume 1

From Port Arthur to Chanak, 1894-1922. H.P. Willmott,  Indiana University Press.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Waddell

I recently finished reading Peter Stanley’s ‘Terriers in India, 1914-1919’ and wish to make a few comments about the book as it seems to have attracted little attention ( much like the Territorials he writes about) and is a gem of a book. Stanley describes himself often as a military and social historian and this book very much falls into both categories by not only describing the men and their battalions, but their social backgrounds in England and more importantly how they interacted with and were accepted/not accepted by British army regulars, Indian units, Anglo-Indians and the native Indians themselves.

 

Towards the end of the book Stanley writes that ‘The Indian Territorials passed into history, except that hardly anyone besides themselves wrote their history, and few took any notice of it. The memory of their service lived only among their families; some of them’. Stanley sets out to address this situation and has researched this book very thoroughly. The bibliography is full of accounts, photo albums, regimental magazines and the like held in regimental archives and local museums, which he states do need further study by committed historians. He does a very good job of pulling together those stories in a coherent manner.

 

Ultimately I felt very sorry for the territorials, most of whose regiments came from the south and south west of England.  Generally slightly older men, tradesmen, and middle class professionals, they were sold a pup by Kitchener who gave them the expectation that they would spend only a year or so in India before being sent to the Western Front. Instead many spent four or five years there garrisoning in place of the regular army battalions that were moved away when war started. Later many would be sent into action at places such as Aden, the Mesopotamian Campaign, Persia and finally the Third Afghan War.

 

The most interesting parts of the book are the records of observations made by the men, who quickly found that the India that confronted them was a far cry from that represented in popular fiction at the time. They were in many cases ignored by the local Anglo Indians who thought they were regulars, could not easily escape life in the cantonments and were continually thought of as inferior troops by the regulars. The book describes how they kept themselves occupied constructively and turned around the image of poor soldiers in the later war years, bringing a lot of credit to themselves when they did go into action. Being skilled in many areas the men were also constantly drawn upon as a source for specialist units. Indeed by 1919 Stanley states that over three quarters of the ASC drivers in India were ex-territorials.

 

A solid book on a neglected subject. My only criticism of the book being that there are quite a lot of typos and the odd missing word within the text that distract after a while.

 

Scott

Terriers in India..JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Admin
1 hour ago, Waddell said:

My only criticism of the book being that there are quite a lot of typos and the odd missing word within the text that distract after a while.

 

 

and expensive!

 

I'm reading 'The Last Great War' Adrian Gregory (also expensive but worth it). It's especially interesting to be reading the book on the 75th Anniversary of VE-day. As he states in his introduction compared to WW1 the great British public believe WW2 was 'fought for freedom', whereas the WW1 was simply a vain sacrifice of millions by the ruling classes of the time.  A misconception he sets out to demolish.

 

Gregory puts into context the contemporary attitude to the Great War, and British society in all its social and cultural aspects during this period, including for example the attitude to sport and sportsmen, or religion and remembrance.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0521728835/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

 

(Don't listen to Joan - definitely not boring)

 

Ken

Link to post
Share on other sites
Black Maria
18 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

 

and expensive!

 

 

A couple of new copies available on e-bay for £20 (inc P&P), which i don't think is too bad for a hardback . Mind you i remember someone on the forum once saying that £11.50

for a new 220 page paperback wasn't cheap so who knows .

Link to post
Share on other sites
Robert Dunlop
On 03/05/2020 at 09:57, MikeyH said:

...have just received 'Zero Hour Z Day' by Johnathan Porter.

As others have said, it is an excellent book. The breadth and depth of the research is very evident. My only minor concern relates to the introductory discussion about the planning for the battle. Porter has recounted the standard view that Haig was pushing for an unrealistic break-out. The book, however, illustrates how the concept of break-out to Bapaume and beyond was held alongside the importance of making carefully planned advances and consolidation in the first instance. Porter sets out the details of the planning beautifully; Haig knew these details down the last letter before the attack went in. Haig had both options in mind - a concept know as scenario planning.

 

Savour the book. Worth every moment...

 

Robert

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Listening on Audio.  Love it.

5076C0C6-A69D-466F-A754-CAB961832485.jpeg

Link to post
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...