Paperback: 406 pages
Publisher: Naval and Military Press (February 13, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 1 x 7.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #622,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #57 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Stamps #995 in Books > History > Military > World War I #4046 in Books > History > Europe > Great Britain
J.F. Lucy and his brother enlisted in the army in 1912. They became members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles of the 3rd Division. The first part of the book is an excellent account of the pre-war British army, replete with the peacetime training and traditions. Though only a N.C.O. Lucy was a keen observer of the war, looking back upon it as a bitter veteran but with a sensitive eye towards the naivete he and his comrades shared going into the war. What follows are wonderfully detailed and fascinating accounts of the early stages of the war. The destruction of the old army, as countless lives were lost following antiquated battle plans. Latter stages of the war were plagued by the attrition of trench warfare, many accounts have been written about these days, so a memoir of the first few months is extremely rare. He saw action at Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne, the Aisne and Neuve Chapelle. The latter two being poignant as the Aisne is where his brother was killed and Neuve Chapelle was where his battalion ceased to exist. He was one of only 50 men to survive the battle out of over 800. The descriptions of the last time that he saw his brother alive are priceless, as he loved his brother a great deal. He spares nothing in this account, it is graphic at times, displaying the horror of war, and the psychological stress. He later describes the first battle of Ypres and after getting his commission the futile slaughter that was Passchendaele. He describes that fateful ridge using the immortal words of Dante from the 28th canto of the Inferno: 'Who, even with words set free, could ever fully tell, by oft relating, the blood and the wounds that I now saw? Every tongue assuredly would fail because of our speech and our memory that have small capacity to comprehend so much.
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