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What WW1 books are you reading?

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear bif,

I had to laugh at that title!

Apropos laughing:

I was most amused to read that the anti-Establishment-minded Martin-Leake, VC, insisted on referring to the RAMC as 'The Medical Department'.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

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The Scorer

I've just read "Hedd Wyn" by Alun Llwyd.

 

This is the biography of Private Elis Humphrey Evans who, as Hedd Wyn, was the posthumous winner of the Chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod at Birkenhead.

 

It's a bilingual book, with Welsh on the left and English on the right, and this is quite hard at first to get used to. However, once this has been done, it's an easy read with lots of detail despite being quite small - not much over 100 pages, I think. Although I've been to his grave in Artillery Wood Cemetery and have recently seen the film "Hedd Wyn" (Alun Llwyd wrote the screen play, incidentally), I didn't know that much about him so, applying my first law of books that it should tell you something that you didn't know, it passed that test.

 

It is very good, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested in the story.

 

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seaJane

I am reading 'Stars beneath the Sea' by Trevor Norton, about diving pioneers, chiefly in pursuit of one Horace Cameron Wright who left some of his papers to our archive and worked during WW2 on the physiology of wounding by underwater explosion. Not exactly a WWI book, but the chapter about J.B.S. Haldane includes a two-page spread on his Great War service (apparently Haig described him as the "bravest and dirtiest officer in the Army").

 

sJ

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bif

Apparently not Sword of the North.  See thread of that name in this topic, please.

Edited by bif

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Black Maria

Just finished ' Veteran Volunteer : Memoir of the trenches , Tanks & Captivity 1914-1919 ' ( P&S Books 2014) . Captain Frank Vans Agnew M.C

travelled from his home in the U.S ( he had emigrated there in 1884 from England ) to join up in 1914 , he was 46 years old but said he was 40.

He joined the 2nd King Edward's Horse and went to France in May 1915 , he became a bomber and later that year took a commission

and returned in 1916 and joined the Mounted Machine Gun Section. He did observation post duties during the Somme and joined the Tank Corps

in January 1917 ( B Battalion ) . He fought at Messines where he was wounded and awarded the M.C and Third Ypres where he promoted to

Captain . He fought at Cambrai and on 23 Nov was section Commander in Bandit 2 when he was wounded and made a P.O.W , he spent the

rest of the war in Germany .

 

Captain Vans Agnew was a brave and tough soldier who took the trials and tribulations of army life in his stride . He didn't seem to let his age

get in the way and appeared to be fitter than men half his age . He didn't have a high opinion of the Germans , to put it mildly and this view

seemed to apply to journalists who wrote about the war . He wrote that " I wish they would send the staff of the MANCHESTER GUARDIAN

into the front line trenches and never release them again , A burial party is what they need and no more ! ". ( I do like this man ! )

 

I did enjoy reading this book despite the endnotes instead of footnotes and would recommend it .

Edited by Black Maria

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Felix C

Douglas Robinson's Zeppeliin book, later edition. 

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Black Maria

Just finished ' We are all flourishing ' which I thought was very good and now going to start ' Untold Tales of War-Time London  ' , which I was lucky

enough to come across recently in a shop for £12.

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Martin Bennitt

Just finished Forum Pal Jim Smithson’s ‘A Taste of Success’ about the opening phases of the Battle of Arras. Jim makes his points well, as he did in his talk on the subject at the GWF conference, prompting me to buy the book. Unfortunately, however, I thought the editing was pretty woeful: non sequiturs, sentences that weren’t, and above all a lack of correlation between the text and the maps, with trenches and other features figuring in one and not the other, and vice versa. I look forward to walking the ground with Jim as guide some day.

 

Cheers Martin B

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Steven Broomfield

Sadly, Martin, poor editing is de rigeur these days, it seems.

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Felix C

I notice it even with larger publishing houses with well known authors and relatively expensive books. YES USNI I am referring to you.

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Fattyowls
1 hour ago, Martin Bennitt said:

I look forward to walking the ground with Jim as guide some day.

 

I'd be up for that too Martin, let me know if you need someone to carry the wine cooler and the sandwiches. I'm sure some of the other chums would be too; GWF on tour, it's the future. However if you would prefer to wander lonely as a cloud then I would completely understand; I'm not sure I'd want to be on a tour that would have me as a member.  Thanks for the review; like you I was really impressed with Jim's knowledge at the conference but I fear I might get a bit confused by the editing or lack thereof.

 

Pete.

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trajan
On 9/3/2017 at 19:06, paulgranger said:

The Kindle version of Westlake is searchable, which helps greatly in the absence of an index.

 

Belated thanks!

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Phil Wood
On 11/3/2017 at 15:54, Steven Broomfield said:

Sadly, Martin, poor editing is de rigeur these days, it seems.

 

It's not poor editing but the lack of editing that publishers go for these days. 

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Steven Broomfield
1 hour ago, Phil Wood said:

 

It's not poor editing but the lack of editing that publishers go for these days. 

True. I was being too nice to the corner-cutting so-and-so's :(

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Black Maria

Just finished reading ' Untold Tales of War-Time London ' by Hallie Eustace Miles . Published in 1930 it contains the war time diary of the author

who ran a vegetarian restaurant in London and who was featured  in the documentary series 'The Great War -the people's story ' in which she was

played by Alison Steadman who read extracts from the book.

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trajan

Back to reading Lost legions of Fromelles, by P.Barton, with translations by our Siege Gunner - inspired to do so by finishing Sheldon's Fighting the Somme...

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