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Remembered Today:

What WW1 books are you reading?


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Yes......how very strange ..I liked it because I went to Winchester College and i could see why they like boys brought up on Kipling and the fact that they were fitter than the men (i well remember runs before breakfast and lots of sports...in the Memorial Garden which was vast they all seemed to be 2nd Lts ..it was done in class year cos there was so many ..as a punishment you had to do the walk and remember the names ..i often thought the school was just to create junior officers !!!

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Marilyne

Reading the letters and diaries of Dorothie Fielding: "Lady Under Fire"... I love her style and the way she keeps on complaining about people that won't let her work too close to the firing line. 

 

M. 

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Radcliffe
1 hour ago, arantxa said:

I would recommend Six weeks the short but gallant life of the 2nd Lt..like most ive read hundreds of books on ww1 but this is very well written..quite humorous and a jolly good read

I read it some time ago. I enjoyed it, so I'm disappointed to read the above comments about the man named in Stempel's introduction.  Readers shouldn't have to worry about fact-checking a professional author.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I recently finished the oddly titled ‘Conan Doyle’s War’ by Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a small 160 page paperback published by Amberley Publishing in 2014. I say oddly titled as I picked it up expecting it to be a short book on Doyle’s life during the First World War. More fool me. It is actually a reprint of sections of his ‘The British Campaign in France and Flanders’ including the author’s own preface.

 

Regardless, I decided to read it anyway as I have not read much about the early stages of the war for a few years and am glad I did read it albeit with a couple of caveats. Firstly, no surprises that Doyle was very much a man of the Empire and very confident in his own abilities to write a history. He wrote “I believe that the narrative in this volume will in the main stand the test of time, and that the changes of the future will consist of additions rather than of alterations or subtractions”. I think his statement is generally true in that the book is not a bad introduction to the early months of the war but touches very lightly on some aspects and suffers from a lack of maps in the original text (I had a look at the original version online) and none in this paperback, which is important when reading about the retreat from Mons, Le Cateau and First Ypres, as so many locations are mentioned.

 

On the subject of additions to the history I have been listening to Peter Hart’s podcasts on the Retreat from Mons and Le Cateau. These provide a great contrast between Doyle’s view and the modern view, particularly of the performances of French and Dorrien-Smith during the retreat from Mons and Le Cateau. The podcasts are available on YouTube and I recommend them.

 

Secondly there are a few preposterous claims made by Doyle, which I admit maybe are reflective of the time it was written. Writing of the death of Dr. Huggan, an international footballer he wrote that “The Germans mock at our respect for sport, and yet this is the type of man that sport breeds, and it is the want of them in their own ranks which will stand for ever between us”. I’m not sure that he would have known how many sportsmen were in their ranks and I’m pretty sure they played football as well. It is a great example of the strong feelings of nationalism existing at the time though.

 

Doyle was a great writer, however, I think there are better books now on the subject. I picked up a copy of ‘The fateful Battle Line- The Great War Journals & Sketches of Captain Henry Ogle M.C” along with the Doyle book and it looks quite promising.

 

Hope I don't upset any Doyle fans here and I'm still a great fan of Sherlock Holmes.

 

Scott

 

Conan Doyle's war.JPG

Edited by Waddell
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Marilyne

Just started the war diary of Clare Gass... expecting some really good hours!! 

 

M.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

I have just re-read my 1943 edition of "High Adventure" (Robertson and Mullins, Melbourne), by Australian Flying Corps top-scorer Capt Harry Cobby, DSO, DFC and Two Bars (later Air Cde, CBE, EM, etc., RAAF).

No 4 Sqn AFC was visited by HM The King on 10 Aug 1918, and spoke to Cobby and "Bo" King, both of whom had accounted for a German aircraft each that morning.

Sadly, the fine-looking Pilot paraded second from right was KiA not long after...

Cobby's book is laced with laconic Australian humour.

476410170_HMtheKing10Aug1918.jpg.7e617bfab30d8d106706be8167052c7c.jpg1201211181_HMtheKinganecdoteCaptCobbyandBoKing.jpg.c80ff66bd611f9f36f8d2bc59a465217.jpg24297032_CaptthenGpCaptCobbyin1940.jpg.b3245b1606000c584a99ee0a93c3884e.jpgFor example, when resting in UK, he and other Australian pilots went Hunting to Hounds with a local aristocrat, the Aussies tending to refer to the hounds as 'dogs', which was not the done thing!

Kindest regards,

Kim. 

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Radcliffe
On 30/06/2020 at 21:32, Marilyne said:

Reading the letters and diaries of Dorothie Fielding: "Lady Under Fire"... I love her style and the way she keeps on complaining about people that won't let her work too close to the firing line. 

 

M. 

I noticed your post and recommended the book to my wife.  She read it in two days and thoroughly enjoyed it!. 

First-person accounts like this are a time capsule of attitudes and beliefs.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Marilyne

Having to be at our HQ in Evere today, I decided to work from "satellite office" : the Defense Library… sourrounded by books but not allowed to touch any of them because of Corona… every book touched needs to be in quaratine for 24 hr… oh well…

But got two ordered: Arthur Marwick's "Women at war 1914-1918" and Patrick Loodts "La Grande Guerre des soignants: Médecins, Infirmières et brancardiers". Dr Loodts has this amazing website with a lot of very interesting articles too: Médecins de la Grande Guerre: www.14-18.be . It's in French, but there are some great pictures to be found there too.

 

M.

 

 

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Making the most of the Covid clear out and picked up in Oxfam 'The Irish Guards in the Great War' by Rudyard Kipling. It's focused on the second Battalion.

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1 hour ago, Rob B said:

Making the most of the Covid clear out and picked up in Oxfam 'The Irish Guards in the Great War' by Rudyard Kipling. It's focused on the second Battalion.

 

An odd thing, the volume on the 2nd Batallion seems quite rare in charity shops and second hand bookshops.

I see the companion volume on the 1st Batallion for sale regularly.

 

Mike.

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1 hour ago, MikeyH said:

 

An odd thing, the volume on the 2nd Batallion seems quite rare in charity shops and second hand bookshops.

I see the companion volume on the 1st Batallion for sale regularly.

 

Mike.

Nice to know Mike. It cost the princely sum of £5.99 and that was yesterday.

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  • 2 weeks later...
JOHN BALL

Edwin Campion Vaughn's "Some Desperate Glory" has appeared on Amazon Kindle. Some V good reviews,worth the £0.99 price tag.? 

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Black Maria
2 hours ago, JOHN BALL said:

Edwin Campion Vaughn's "Some Desperate Glory" has appeared on Amazon Kindle. Some V good reviews,worth the £0.99 price tag.? 

Quite a while since i read it but definitely one of my favourites .

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On 24 July 2020 at 08:30, Marilyne said:

 

Arthur Marwick

He was the Professor of History when I did my History degree with the Open University many years ago. Thanks to him I got a First Class Honours, in the days when they were as rare as hens teeth, and changed my life.

I always remember that at the end of an evening's lecture he tried to get the students to remain in the lecture hall to allow him to get to the bar first!

Len

 

M.

 

 

 

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Antonio8888

I am reading about stormtroops in these days on the Western and Italian front :

 

The classic title by Osprey on German shock troops and a book on the tactics of the storm troops on the Italian front titled Hell in the Trenches by p. Morisi published by Helion and Co. Both books deal with the specific combat methods of these special forces.

 

 

DC7C40DC-5328-491F-9BAA-2590324A22E7.png

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9 hours ago, Len Trim said:

 

 

then I'm sure the book is a good one… starting this WE !!

And when done I'll go to the bar to have a drink to his memory!

 

M.

Edited by Marilyne
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Steven Broomfield
On 08/05/2020 at 14:34, Waddell said:

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. 

 

 

 

 

I reviewed it in Stand To! (and agree with you)

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

I have just re-read "Langemarck" and "Cambrai" (N&P Press reprint, 2005) by Capt Geoffrey Dugdale, MC.

He was what the Germans call eine Coole Sau (a cool customer). Very well educated and a businessman with wife and family, Dugdale was old for his subaltern rank.

Thrown in at the deep end, he quickly found his feet without fuss - at times standing in for his Colonel (who was asleep, and what was more: at the Front, rather than Bn HQ). The latter recommended him for an MC - but there were not enough to go round: however Dugdale showed no malice; merely noting in a dry fashion, that his Colonel got a Bar to his DSO, rather that being sent Home, as half-expected...

Following a much-needed leave, Dugdale realised an even bigger Show would eventuate, even worse than the preceding one. He eventually got his MC (in the 1918 New Years Honours list). At an early stage, post-Great War, he warned of signs of the next War (I do not know how he fared from then)...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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  • 1 month later...

Was pleased to pick up in a charity shop, a hardback re-issue dated 2018 of Richard Holmes classic 'Tommy' for 50p.

This replaces my well thumbed paperback, the publishers have thoughtfully provided it with three dustjackets!

 

Mike.

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"Stretcher Bearer - the fight for life in the trenches", by Charles Horton. Just a small book as a good-night read after a long day in class.... 

And pieces by pieces, really only when I have a bit of time, I go through Sebag-Montefiore's "Into the Breach". I find that it can really be read little bit by little bit, because it's nicely cut into small chapters. 

 

M.

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Sadly about to finish Stanley Casson's Steady Drummer. A delight to read and I'm deliberately reading slowly because I don't want it to end. Has to be one of my favorite memoirs.

 

Dave

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

I have just acquired "L of C" by Capt James E. Agate, ASC (London: Constable and Company Ltd., 1917).

Do any GWF members know about J. E. Agate?

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Yes-   He was a popular  literary critic, most of whose work of note came between the wars. Noted for that quality of light, literate, flowing prose that is now very much out of fashion.  He was of that generation of  socially well connected lit.crits. who mingled society life with literary work- others being, for example Beverley Nichols or Hannen Swaffer. The trick is they are now largely forgotten and unread. His books -other than L of C -are quite common.

    He has been dignified by a notice on Wikipedia. L of C should be very readable.  

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear voltaire60,

Oh! An entry in Wikipedia! I didn't even think of checking there; many thanks for that.

He sounds as if he was a smooth character. Indeed, I am constantly impressed by the calibre of Officer-types who endured the Great War...

I hope to find his Image, to put with the 1916-17 book!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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