Category Archives: World War I memoirs

War as a great game in 1915

‘I stood with Maynard Greville on the stone terrace outside the School House studies at Oundle in the spring of 1915. ‘I vote we chuck all this at the end of term and join up,’ said he. ‘Wouldn’t it be … Continue reading

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Memorial to Christmas Truce footballers

In December 1914 the field behind the cross contained a crop of turnips, but that didn’t stop men of the German and British armies playing football between their front lines. The author Henry Williamson, who served with the London Rifle … Continue reading

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Second lieutenant Robert Butler Nivison, 21st KRRC

Walking through Hampstead Cemetery in London this week I saw a memorial to Sir Robert Nivison, 1st Baron Glendyne of Sanduhan, his wife Jane and their son, Robert Butler. Sir Robert Nivison was a well-known banker and stockbroker, whose company, … Continue reading

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The effect of a shellburst as seen by a First World War soldier

A First World War soldier reflects on his first experience of shellfire. ‘And was I panic stricken? No. Not in the least. It would be hard to analyse my feelings as I gazed at the ugly brown hole in the … Continue reading

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Joining ‘The Mutton Lancers’ in 1914

‘I see from my discharge papers that I enlisted on 27 August 1914. As I was born on 26 January 1898, it follows that I was sixteen years and seven months old. ‘The Battle of Mons had just been fought, … Continue reading

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An American in France

‘What I have a vivid memory of is the French soldiers – being in a small village and going into a local wine shop in the evening. ‘They had very, very little money. But they were having wine and singing … Continue reading

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Hidden dangers of war

‘In the shallow ditch outside that Le Touret farm, among the black mud now nearly dry, were to be seen a variety of old grenades brown with rust, tumbled in with tin cans and broken harness. ‘I looked at them … Continue reading

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