Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:27 pm
Walter Hulme wrote the account of his war service in 1918 and published it privately for friends and family. It is now edited and republished on behalf of the Manchester Regimental Collection and can be purchased from the Regimental Museum (and, presumably, other sources).
I was immediately attracted to it as the modern edition ascribes Hulme’s service to “D” Company of the 2/6th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, the history of which is included in my book “Not a Rotter in the Lot”.
However, and it is a big “however, as soon as I started to read it, I realised something was wrong. The places that Hulme talks about were not places where the 2/6th served. He writes of service around the Somme, in the autumn of 1917 – at which time the 2/6th was very firmly in Belgium. Nothing of the places or timeframe mentioned by Hulme ties in with the known facts (including his wounding at Beaumont Hamel in early/mid December 1917 – when the 2/6th was around Ypres)
It appears that Hulme initially trained with the 2/6th and, later, was an active member of its Old Comrades Association and I can only presume that the editor has made assumptions about his service, based on that. The medal roll at Kew would confirm the battalion Hulme actually served with but it cannot have been the 2/6th.
So, that would seem to me to lessen its worth as an account other than as yet another story written in the flowery language of the time – long on moody feeling, short on factual detail. Presumably, if the Regimental Collection undertakes some basic research to identify the correct unit then that would be more useful if there was a reprint at some time.