first world war autobiography

#1
does anybody know of a good autobiographical first world war book? I've been reading up on World War I a little bit lately but I can't seem to see things from the perspective of the actual soldiers on the battlefield very easily. cheers
 
#5
Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves is a good first start.
But, as previously stated, there are many many others.
 
#7
'With a machine gun to Cambrai' by George Coppard
 
#8
Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves is a good first start.
But, as previously stated, there are many many others.
Read this for O level English Lit. Didn't enjoy it then, however have read it numerous times since. Brilliant.


Sent from my iPad using ARRSE app 'cause I can.
 
#9
does anybody know of a good autobiographical first world war book? I've been reading up on World War I a little bit lately but I can't seem to see things from the perspective of the actual soldiers on the battlefield very easily. cheers
Carrington: Soldier From The Wars Returning, and A Subaltern's War - one is an autobiog published as thinly disguised fiction, the other came a ew decades later, when he'd had time to sort himself out a bit.

Knocks Graves and Sassoon's versions of the war into a cocked hat. If you want a poet's version, look for Edmund Blunden

I'll have to dig back through my records, 'cos I can't recall the title.

There's another book I read a few years back that covers the experience of driving the Hun back in 1918 pretty well, my memory fails me again- see above/stand by.
 
#12
'Her Privates We' by Frederic Manning. Its actually a novel but Manning served in the Great War and, to my mind, its one of the best evocations of the life of the ordinary soldier. Otherwise 'Some Desparate Glory' by Edwin Campion Vaughan is a good account from an officers perspective.
 
#13
Here y'go:

The fateful battle line : the Great War journals and sketches of Captain Henry Ogle

Overview
The Great War journals and sketches of Captain Henry Ogle, MC. The Fateful Battle Line deserves to take a place among the classics of the Great War. A front-line Territorial infantryman on the Western Front from 1915-1918, commissioned from the ranks in 1917, Henry Ogle preserved his sanity, observed the scenes around him with the exact eye of an artist, and wrote them down with a clarity that throws entirely fresh light on some of the War's continuing mysteries.

A bloody good read
 
#14
General Jack's Diary. He didn't start out as a General of course. Gives an excellent insight into the trials and tribulations of an officer who served in the trenches for pretty much all his time in the war.

Geoffrey Malins book "'How I Filmed The War" too. He filmed a lot of major events in the war, in particular the mine explosion at Beaumont Hamel and his book gives an interesting account into his time leading up to the mine explosion.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#15
Have a gander at the reviews page. Some excellent stuff on there. One about The Kensington regiment is good.http://www.arrse.co.uk/content/1138-kensington-st-valery-en-caux-robert-gardner.html
Another superb book, 'The Beauty and the sorrow', may not be strictly autobiographical, but has life as seen by several people. Probably one of the defining books of the war.
But, there are many in that thread, have a look.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#16
The War the Infantry Knew, 1914 - 1919, Capt J C Dunn.

Storm of Steel, Enst Junger.

All Quiet on the Western Front; Erich Maria Remarque

Mud Blood and Poppycock: Corrigan

Memoirs of an Infantry Officer: Sassoon

And the Lynn Macdonald series.

That should keep you going for a bit.
 
#19
And from the same battalion,

'Old Soldiers Never Die' by Frank Richards.

Often acclaimed as the finest WW1 book written by an other rank.
I can just imagine. "YAROOH!" expostulated the Fat Owl of the Remove. "I say Inky, can you lend me ten francs, I'm expecting a Red Cross Parcel..." :wink:
 
#20
This one is a good start, broad spectrum of memories.



Forgotten Voices of the Great War
Hear the voices (well, some of them, anyway) online:

Search Results | First World War Poetry Digital Archive

That's the Ashmolean Museum's selection from a larger archive recorded in 1974, by the IWM, and that book is a collection of transcipts from the main collection

The main collection, which used to be free access through the IWM's website, does not seem to be accessible at the moment (hence no link) and a look back on ARRSE to my last post on the subject a coupla years ago, tells me that they had at some point switched to a pay-per-download model.

The Daily Wail released a freeby double-CD last november with a selection on it, that you might find in a charidee shop or fleamarket.
 

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