A Hero For All Times (Hardback)
Marshall VC in The Great War
In September 1914 Neville Marshall gave up a successful horse treatment practice to join first the Belgian and then the British Army. His diary, dormant in family archives for 105 years, and letters describe his tumultuous war service. An Irish Guardsman, who was seconded to three Lancashire battalions, he rose in rank from 2nd Lieutenant to Acting Lieutenant-Colonel. Wounded at least nine times and awarded five gallantry medals, he revelled as well as suffered in his encounters with the German enemy. Outspoken on the conduct of the war, he was without doubt a gifted and courageous leader who led from the front. Fiercely loyal to his men, he earned their respect and affection. Yet with soldiers who were uncaring of their own states of body and mind or lacking physical fitness and self-respect, he worked tirelessly to restore their morale and battle readiness through strict disciplinary regimes.
While undoubtedly a patriot and a hero, Marshall VC was not without character flaws, impetuously rushing to judgements. In this superbly researched book, his diaries and letters are supplemented from a wide range of archival and other sources. The result is no ordinary biography of an extraordinary officer who gave his life for his country.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Stephen Dale
An amazing story about a larger than life war hero. An Irishman who started the First World War in the Belgian army and died just before the Armistice as a Lt. Colonel in the British army. A true leader of men, wounded it is thought nine times and promoted quickly through the ranks. A flawed character but an extraordinary soldier.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Peter Coxall
A fascinating book about a larger-than-life British officer and his exploits on the Western Front during WW1.
Lt Colonel Marshall VC, was loved by his troops but was seen to be somewhat of a 'pain' to the senior Staff officers because of his contempt for the way that the war was being waged by the British. Also, he seemed somewhat obsessive about any homosexual acts that he encountered, putting the perceived culprits on charges.
Astoundingly, he was wounded no less than nine times not including the tenth time when he was killed instantly by a shot to the head. A top-class officer in every respect, who led from the front and was a strict disciplinarian.
He had several run-ins with the law before the war, over fairly trivial offences, and managed spmehow to emerge with his character intact.
To summarise, I loved the book, I admire Marshall, a true hero who sadly died a few days before the end of the war in a pointless attack on a well-defended position.
Article: Outstanding diaries of a VC hero are revealed.Daily Express - Thursday, October 26, 2023
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Ron Baumer
A well-done biography on a VC winner during WW1. This man was a true hero and patriot for his country. His stand on his beliefs and compassion for the common soldiers during WW1 was inspirational. A great read!
The recent discovery of a wooden chest, unopened for 100 years revealed a treasure trove of eloquent trench diaries, letters and poetry. The author was Hamish Mann, a young Black Watch subaltern killed in France in 1917 just five days after his 21st birthday. Thanks to Mann’s outstanding literary gifts and prodigious output, this book re-lives his fateful journey from the declaration of war, his voluntary work at a military hospital, his training and commission and, finally, his service with 8th Black Watch on the Somme. The daily hardship and trauma he experienced at the Front were shared with…By Jacquie Buttriss
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