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An Anzac on the Western Front (Kindle)

The Personal Recollections of an Australian Infantryman from 1916 to 1918

WWI 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 Great War Chemical Attacks Military

By John Grehan, Martin Mace, H.R. Williams
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 4.1 MB (.mobi)
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781783034000
eBook Released: 2nd August 2012


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“The ordeal of the night was plainly visible on all faces, ghastly white showing through masks of grim and dried sweat, eyes glassy, protruding, and full of horror seen only upon men who have lived through a heavy bombardment.” So wrote Harold Roy Williams of his time in the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

Having enlisted in 1915 and serving in the 56th Battalion Australian Imperial Force, Williams had only arrived in France, from Egypt, on 30 June 1916. He describes the horrors of the Fromelles battlefield in shocking clarity and the conditions the troops had to endure are revealed in disturbing detail.

Surviving a later gas attack, Harold Williams' subsequent postings read like a tour of the Western Front. Following the Somme
there was the mud and squalor of the line south of Ypres, the German Spring Offensive of 1918, the Battle of Amiens – frequently described as the most decisive battle against the Germans in France and Flanders – the capture of Villers-Bretonneux and, finally, the assault on Péronne.

Injured at Péronne and invalided back to the United Kingdom, Williams survived the war to return to Australia in 1919. An Anzac
on the Western Front is his graphic description of his service in the First World War – an account that was described as “the best soldier's story … yet read in Australia” when it was first published.

Williams first action was at Fromelles about which he provides a detailed account.

The Bulletin

I have no hesitation in placing H. R. Williams’ account of his wartime very near the top of the pile, Williams’ book is special. He was a highly perceptive, frequently wry, observer of war, its effects, of climate, of geography, of officers and men, and of the events which he and his comrades experienced and combated during the Great War. Very strongly recommended.

The western front association stand to! No. 97

A remarkably candid and graphic account of his wartime service, this book details Williams’ journey from the Somme through to the German offensive in 1918, his wounding at the Battle of Péronne, and his eventful turn home.

Britain at War Magazine

About John Grehan

John Grehan has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

About Martin Mace

Martin Mace has been involved in writing and publishing military history for more than twenty years. He began his career with local history, writing a book on the Second World War anti-invasion defences and stop lines in West Sussex. In 2006 he began working on the idea for Britain at War Magazine, This publication has grown rapidly to become the best-selling military history periodical.

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