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A Tommy at Ypres - Walter's War


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#1 John Hartley

John Hartley

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:41 PM

This one was always going to end up on the shelf. Local man serving in our local Territorial battalion, the 6th Cheshires.

It's advertised as being the diary of Walter Williamson. But the length and level of detail of the content, the style of writing, etc., makes me think it's actually a later memoir. And, possibly one written quite a bit later - there's none of the stilted (to modern eyes) language that you often see in contemporary writings. And it's all the better for that.

Williamson went overseas at the end of 1916 and his service was mainly as a signaller on the battalion HQ staff and, later, as orderly room corporal. So there's not much front line action to be recounted but it is packed with the detail of day-to-day life. He writes with humour and is always positive about his situation. It really is a most readable account and I havnt enjoyed a Great War book so much for ages.