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What WW1 books are you reading?


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#1201 Waddell

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:43 AM

I recently picked up a tatty old copy of "The Ebb & Flow Of Battle" by P.J Campbell, printed in 1977.Recently I have researched several artillery men including an officer and knew that this book was an artillery officer's memoirs of the last year of the war. Only a few hours into it but very well written and descriptive of the artillery.

I do wonder how the author recalled so much so long after the war though.

Scott

#1202 EvangelineH

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:07 AM

The Countryside at War, 1914-1918 by Caroline Dakers

Re-reads of The Children of the Souls: A tragedy of the First World War by Jeanne Mackenzie and How We Lived Then, 1914-1918: a Sketch of Social and Domestic Life in England during the War by Mrs. C.S. Peel

#1203 blackmaria

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:08 AM

Just finished "War is War by X-Private-X(A.M Burrage)and i enjoyed it very much.Mr Burrage was a pre-war author and has left us a well written and informative account,one of the few by an ordinary ranker.He didn't suffer fools gladly but i admired the way he wasn't afraid to call a spade a spade.Not in the same league as Tilsley's "Other Ranks" but a fine memoir.

#1204 clarke

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:37 AM

A re-read but a long time in between visits. Her Private We, by Frederic Manning.

#1205 hazel clark

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

"Goodbuy To All That" Robert Graves. Wonderfully candid view on war and life. Just finished "King Kaiser Tzar which I also enjoyed, It is an interesting biographical study of the cousins whose personalities and upbringing led to to some unfortunate events including the War.

H.C.

#1206 Marilyne

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:45 PM

"Goodbuy To All That" Robert Graves. Wonderfully candid view on war and life. Just finished "King Kaiser Tzar which I also enjoyed, It is an interesting biographical study of the cousins whose personalities and upbringing led to to some unfortunate events including the War.

H.C.



Just finished to re-read "Goodbye" also, Hazel. Great reading.

Desperatly needed something to occupy my mind today. Somebody has a miraculous cure for me? I know this has nothing to do with WWI - although ... I have more time now for my reading and visiting. This is cruel to say, I know. Just sold my horse, by beautiful Spanish mare, because of a lot of reasons ... I know it's the best for both of us, we just don't fit together (took me two years to realize) but I still feel like SH..
Sorry, know it's not the place, but just had to share.

I'll just get back to my books...

Marilyne

#1207 truthergw

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:48 PM

"Goodbuy To All That" Robert Graves. Wonderfully candid view on war and life. Just finished "King Kaiser Tzar which I also enjoyed, It is an interesting biographical study of the cousins whose personalities and upbringing led to to some unfortunate events including the War.

H.C.

Hi Hazel. If you read " The War the Infantry Knew", Captain Dunn, you will find that he was critical of Graves, a fellow officer in the same regiment. Graves has been criticised for playing fast and loose with the truth in his account. I think his book is a literary triumph and gives a straightforward account of his personal recollections but I might hesitate to quote it as a factual source. Graves gave literary help to Frank Richards in his great book, " Old Soldiers Never Die". The Welsh Fusiliers were extraordinarily well served with authors.

#1208 hazel clark

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:46 AM

It is interesting that you should say that, because as you are no doubt aware, Graves makes mention of Dunn in his book and since I bought Dunn's book at the same time have decided to read it next[. From what you say, it looks as though Dunn is not as complimentary of Graves, as the latter is of Dunn. Having said that, I did enjoy the book and and find his writing style quite refreshing after the rather heavy stuff I had been reading. It seems that many war time biographical books are unreliable in terms of hard facts but I suppose some of the embellishment and distortion is to appeal to a wider audience, or help perpetuate the author's own agenda.

Will look for "Old Soldiers Never Die" Hadn't heard of it before. It is too bad the 8th Seaforths are not as well served with authors!
Hazel C.quote name='truthergw' timestamp='1332712106' post='1730811']
Hi Hazel. If you read " The War the Infantry Knew", Captain Dunn, you will find that he was critical of Graves, a fellow officer in the same regiment. Graves has been criticised for playing fast and loose with the truth in his account. I think his book is a literary triumph and gives a straightforward account of his personal recollections but I might hesitate to quote it as a factual source. Graves gave literary help to Frank Richards in his great book, " Old Soldiers Never Die". The Welsh Fusiliers were extraordinarily well served with authors.
[/quote]

#1209 truthergw

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:37 AM

Frank Richards' book is unusual in that he was not a commissioned officer. I recommend the edition published by Chameleon Press and annotated by Krijnen and Langley. The latter is a valued member of the forum.

#1210 clarke

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:59 AM

Finished 'Her Privates We', now starting 'ANZACS on the Western Front: The Australian War Memorial Battlefield Guide', hopefully it will contribute to a visit one day.

#1211 17107BM

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:25 PM

Battle Scarred: The 47th Battalion in the first World War. Author. Craig Deayton.


This is without doubt a first class read in every respect. Not one word is wasted in the telling of the 47th Battalion Australian Imperial Force during World War One.. What is obvious from the start of reading is the depth of research that has gone into making this such a good read.Battalion War diaries are always a good source of information, but without the added power of personal acounts, the book gives the reader much more of a background to events.

Along the way i was greatly amused, saddened,shocked and inspired by the men of the 47th.

Some of the stories of the troop ship crossings on the high seas had me smiling from ear to ear as they got up to there variuos antics on there voyage.

What does hit you on reading is the obsolute bravery of these men.

A well crafted book and a must read!

#1212 hazel clark

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:16 AM

Will try to find that one. Have just read the intro. to Dunn's book and see what you mean about his attitude to Graves.
H.C.

Frank Richards' book is unusual in that he was not a commissioned officer. I recommend the edition published by Chameleon Press and annotated by Krijnen and Langley. The latter is a valued member of the forum.



#1213 kenf48

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 05:01 PM

Desperatly needed something to occupy my mind today. Somebody has a miraculous cure for me? I know this has nothing to do with WWI - although ... I have more time now for my reading and visiting. This is cruel to say, I know. Just sold my horse, by beautiful Spanish mare, because of a lot of reasons ... I know it's the best for both of us, we just don't fit together (took me two years to realize) but I still feel like SH..


As an antidote to your loss I'd recommend 'Tommy's Ark' another of Richard van Emden's great titles.

I've just read this book and really enjoyed it and it was a real treat to be reading it as the weather turned warmer and one could see the changes in the natural world these soldiers remarked on, for example watching the blue-tits taking up residence, the early blossom and a general feeling of anticipation of more to come. There are echoes of Housman and the English pastoral tradition in many of the selected excerpts.

Lt Gillespie of the Argylls, sadly killed later in the war, had me flicking to the excellent bibliography to see where I could read more of his lyrical prose.

The author gives the veterans a voice and I'm full of admiration for his carefully sourced material in all his books but this volume can be read for sharing the pleasure, and frustration of working with animals and observing their habits, even when the animals (and presumably the writers) were slightly under the influence of alcohol.

We can try to understand but can never be exposed to the culture and social influences that set the values for this generation but the love of natural history and observation shines through these fragments. I was watching a TV programme last night where the relative of a man killed in urban gang warfare commented on the healing power of Nature, the same message repeated over and over by the veterans.

Another thing it brought home to was how, in reality attempts to trace an individual man's movements are probably futile. I don't think 'C.Os. cowman' or 'officers mole catcher' appeared anywhere in Battalion Orders but certainly the soldiers concerned seem to have relished the job and took it very seriously!

Ken

There are more reviews on this thread
http://1914-1918.inv...1

#1214 Marilyne

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:43 AM

Ken,

Thank you for this answer.

I have "Tommy's Ark" on my shelve and intented to read it while preparing the Historical Guide on this year's Yzer march, as we have a dog with our team to do this 4 day commemoration walk in Flanders fields.

From the few pieces I have read comes for me only one possible conclusion: also in the worst times, as in war, men's best friend will always be there!!



MM.

#1215 Verrico2009

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:35 PM

Just had a browse in a local charity shop (pleasant surprise it's open today) and came away with Martin Gilbert's First World War, the IWM Book of the Somme, Over the Top and 1918 The Year of Victories by Martin Marix Evans. Also bagged The Great War - The Standard History of the All-Europe Conflict, Part 142 Russia's Tragic Struggle to the Eve of Revolution. Turned out the elderly lady volunteer serving me is an avid battlefield tourer - I think she had half a mind to reclaim the books!

That'll keep me quiet for a while.

#1216 hazel clark

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:03 PM

Sounds like you struck oil. I enjoyed Gilbert's book. It is full of poetry and is the book that made me interested in reading about the war.

H.C.

Just had a browse in a local charity shop (pleasant surprise it's open today) and came away with Martin Gilbert's First World War, the IWM Book of the Somme, Over the Top and 1918 The Year of Victories by Martin Marix Evans. Also bagged The Great War - The Standard History of the All-Europe Conflict, Part 142 Russia's Tragic Struggle to the Eve of Revolution. Turned out the elderly lady volunteer serving me is an avid battlefield tourer - I think she had half a mind to reclaim the books!

That'll keep me quiet for a while.



#1217 truthergw

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:06 PM

I am waiting for a biography of Haking and in the meantime have been having a skim through Sewell Tyng's " The Campaign of The Marne" in tandem with " The Marne,1914" by Holger Herwig. A classic which still holds its own and a new book with all the modern research to back it up. Unfortunately, both authors laboured under the illusion that there was a Schlieffen Plan.

#1218 Verrico2009

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:33 PM

Sounds like you struck oil. I enjoyed Gilbert's book. It is full of poetry and is the book that made me interested in reading about the war.

H.C.

Thanks,Hazel. I look forward to starting on it but I'd just got into Sapper Martin's diary - but definitely something to look forward to.




#1219 Tony Ring

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:51 PM

"STAND TO" A diary of the trenches 1915 - 1918 by Captain F.C. Hitchcock. Late 2nd Battalion - The Leinster Regiment.

A very good old book that I recently picked up. Goes into some detail with graphic accounts of life in the trenches. A 1937 second edition.

A good find.


Tony

#1220 conner

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:26 AM

I have just begun Richard Van Emden's The Quick and the Dead, along with Jay Winter's Remembering War. They rather go hand in hand.

#1221 blackmaria

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

Just finished "Mud and Khaki:the memories of an incomplete soldier" by H.S Clapham,who served in the H.A.C.I found it very interesting as it deals with his time in the Ypres salient during most of 1915 which is a very neglected year of the war i feel.Reading his story it makes you wonder how those men got through it,they certainly were made of strong stuff in them days.

#1222 MartinBennitt

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:16 PM

Just finished Sean McMeekin's 'The Russian Origins of the First World War'. I was very impressed and have written a review of it:

http://1914-1918.inv...0

cheers Martin B

#1223 Chunkeroo

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:52 PM

Just bought 'Under the Devil's Eye' by Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody. It's been on my Christmas list for a couple of years. As no one got it for me, I decided to treat myself.

#1224 maxi

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

Just bought 'Under the Devil's Eye' by Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody. It's been on my Christmas list for a couple of years. As no one got it for me, I decided to treat myself.



#1225 1st east yorks

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

Im two thirds through Jon Nicholls 'A cheerful sacrifice'. A poignant read,considering the date. Thinking of the men in the trenches 95 years ago tonight,many of whom wouldnt see another nightfall.Remembered.
Anthony.