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Remembered Today:

What WW1 books are you reading?


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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

I found several portraits of the cranky-looking Agate.

Good to have, however, and put with the book. He was useful to the ASC, having spoken fluent French and with  a knowledge of horse-flesh!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Michelle Young

I've just read the Life Class/Toby's Room/Noonday trilogy by Pat Barker. Not sure if I liked them anymore than the Regeneration Trilogy. I can't really put my finger on why I'm not keen on her writing, the books are better than Birdsong in my opinion, but maybe that she makes her lead characters so unpleasant. 

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Ron da Valli

I am just re-reading a novel by my friend & fellow Great War researcher, Tony Davies. It is called "Rhys' War"  a well written & researched novel. Highly recommend it.

http://www.tonydavies.me/

Edited by Ron da Valli
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Currently reading the Leonaur Ltd edition of J.F.C. Fuller’s Tanks in the Great War (ISBN: 9781782828877). Having read a couple of things by Fuller, I believe his style can be a little condescending.

 

F67830E7-9A38-438F-8CF1-2E2EBEFA95E2.jpeg.30e87eb4ddba7eb3f6f86a610023b304.jpeg

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I took a break from reading after finishing my MA, because I was so burnt out. I got back into reading a few days ago with Martin Middlebrook’s The Kaiser’s Battle. I’ve made it through three chapters so far and it’s an enjoyable read. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

With 3rd cycle going on and the teachers making us read a lot of things about management and strategy (was hoping for Liddell-Hart's "Strategy" to be on the list but no luck) so I reverted to the more "easy" reading where WWI is concerned... so I put Alexandra Churchill's "Somme" next to my bed for a chapter here and there before sleeping and I started "the 39 steps" on the kindl ... 

I'll go back to what I have on the Schlieffen plan before the end of the year, because the teacher for "Land Ops" wants to take that on as an example. Might be interesting. 

 

M.

 

 

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

I have happily acquired (posh for bought) the delightfully amusing "L. of C." (Constable, 1917).

This foxed but intact volume was written by that erudite journalist and erstwhile temporary ASC officer James Evershed 1976980344_LofC.jpg.9b9f64ee14284fc26a0c85ae321c757d.jpg1560409556_AGATEJamesE.png.f2992ff1db34f83edb8951a5d3c82b18.pngAgate (1877-1947).

I attach both his somewhat startling Image (no Great War portrait, unfortunately), as well as a typical extract, for the general enjoyment of the GWF community...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Started with "Letters from a lost generation" yesterday. I've read Testament of Youth some time ago and found the book on Kindl for a very interesting price. 

 

M.

 

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Black Maria

Just finished ' The Kaiser's Captive ' by Albert Rhys Williams , an American war correspondent in the early months of the war . First published

in 1917 under a different title it's not a bad book , although it does flit about a bit and is very much of it's time . It did however have the following

line which i though was very true " War is race suicide . It kills the best and leaves behind the undermuscled and the under-brained to propagate

the species " .

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Uncle George

Supernatural tales, written by H D Everett and published in 1920. One, ‘A Perplexing Case’, concerns French Officer Henri Latour and Richard Adams, lance-corporal in the London Scottish, wounded on the same occasion and recovering in the same hospital. And ‘Over the Wires’, a story of Belgian refugees and atrocities; and love and loss. Both to be found in ‘The Death Mask and Other Ghosts’, a collection of her work:


https://archive.org/details/cu31924013456953

 

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I am presently reading 'Cheerful  Sacrifice' by Jonathan Nicholls and it has been a really good read so far.

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Just read "Next to Impossible" The remarkable life of Albert Chalmers Borella VC by Bradley A Chamlers (2015).  

 

Some useful background info surrounding how the VC was won, along with photos from family collections.

 

However, due to the paucity of personal letters or personal diaries written by Borella during the Great War, the author quotes heavily from Partridge, Hinckfuss and the battalion war diary.  The quotations are weaved into an interesting narrative, but I found it often detracted from gaining any insights into how Borella felt during the major battles.  

 

A useful read for those interested in VC winners, but not much use to researchers of the battalion.  

 

http://regimental-books.com.au/next-to-impossible-the-remarkable-life-of-albert-chalmers-borella-vc-p-4324.html/

Edited by jay26thBn
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On 22/09/2020 at 20:14, Ron da Valli said:

I am just re-reading a novel by my friend & fellow Great War researcher, Tony Davies. It is called "Rhys' War"  a well written & researched novel. Highly recommend it.

http://www.tonydavies.me/

 

Where and when was it edited??? Did not find it on Amazon nor on kindl

 

M.

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Just finished Gallipoli 1915 by Richard Reid (2002, reprinted 2007, ABC Books), an Irish born author.  

 

It is essentially a pictorial of the campaign, starting from the British and French bombardment of the Dardanelles during March 1915 right through to the evacuation. It has several sections covering various aspects of the war, such as the landing, medical services daily life, dwellings etc.

 

I liked the fact it didn't just focus on the Anzac perspective.  It included a broad range of photos from various units, including the French (including those of African origin), English, Indian, Maoris, and the Ottomans.

 

It was littered with relevant quotations from personal letters and diaries, and the author had a fair crack at identifying the soldiers in each photo.  

 

Well worth a look for those interested in this campaign.

 

https://www.bookdepository.com/Gallipoli-1915-Richard-Reid/9780733310720

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Robert Dunlop

Just finished 'The Diary of a Cavalry Subaltern: August 16th to September 11th, 1914". An interesting personal account written by R M Johnson of C Squadron XX Hussars. It covers the Battle of Mons, retreat, and advance back across the Marne.

 

Robert

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Haven't posted for a while but just had to recommend 'Pass Guard at Ypres' by Ronald Gurner. Republished a few years ago in the Casemate Classic War Fiction series, it was originally published at the end of the 1920s and is the thinly disguised autobiography of the author. Although there is a central thread that is you might think all too common in approach: naive subaltern, Freddy Mann, leaves school and is immediately pitched into the Salient where, over the following three years he is turned into a battle scarred cynic,  before dying in 1918. But around this central theme the book's structure is quite unusual in that there are a succession of short chapters from the point of view of other characters and other incidents. These appear at random in the narrative, are not well signalled or contextually explained (clearly intentionally)and create a mood of chaos and confusion in which the defence of Ypres becomes increasingly an end in itself as any wider meaning of the war is lost to Mann and his men. To be honest I didn't expect to find the book half as powerful and moving as I did.

 

David 

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Regarding Robert Dunlop's post two above, there was a description on Turner Donovan "Very rare account", but author differs.

THOMPSON (R.M., 'C' Sqdrn., 20th Hussars) The Diary of a Cavalry Subaltern, August 16th to September 11th, 1914. 1st Ed., 23pp. No imprint/date (Doubtless privately printed, c.1915).  #60404

Very rare account of author's brief active service with the 20th Hussars in 1914, from leaving Colchester to a final entry on 11th Sept., presumably the author was wounded soon after. The 20th Hussars was in action on the Belgian frontier within days of arrival on the continent, followed by Retreat from Mons, then advance to the Aisne. Interesting descriptions of various cavalry skirmishes &c. Orig. red cloth, gilt title to front, near fine. 

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2evui2DD6RsJ:https://www.turnerdonovan.com/booksPDS.aspx%3FstockNo%3D60404%26mv%3D2%26sn%3D0+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au (may not be permanent)

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NorthStaffsPOW

Have recently read Company K by William March. A short, powerful novel told in vignettes from several members of one Company. I found the fact that ample space was given over to the lives of the men after the War to be especially poignant. 

 

I am now reading David Woodward's Forgotten Soldiers, about the War in the Middle East which was kindly given to me by a forum member. The author pays tribute to the men of the territorial force that were deemed to be not good enough to serve in France and Belgium but instead had to endure burning hot deserts, thirst and famine as well as an enemy that of course had been disregarded as much of an opponent initially. It is also interesting to read about the Egyptian Labour Corps and the Camel Transport Corps whose native ranks appear to often have been roughly treated by many British officers and other ranks alike. 

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