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At War with the 16th Irish Division 1914-1918 (ePub)

The Letters of J H M Staniforth

Military WWI > By Year > 1914 WWI > By Year > 1915 WWI > By Year > 1916 WWI > By Year > 1917 WWI > By Year > 1918

Edited by Richard Grayson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 2.1 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781783032112
Published: 13th August 2012


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The letters of John 'Max' Staniforth are among the most perceptive, graphic and evocative personal records of a soldier's life to have come down to us from the Great War. They cover his entire wartime career with the 16th (Irish) Division, from his enlistment in 1914 till the armistice, and they have never been published before.rnrnFrom his first days in the army, Staniforth wrote fluent, descriptive weekly letters to his parents and, in doing so, he created a fascinating record of his experiences and those of the men around him. When the division arrived on the Western Front in 1915, he related his impressions in detail, and went on to give an unflinching account of the drama and the cruelty – and the gruelling routine – of trench warfare. After he was gassed in 1918, he wrote about his feelings and the treatment he received just as thoroughly as he did about every other aspect of the conflict.rnrnA striking aspect of the letters is that Staniforth enlisted as a private soldier and went through the training of the ordinary recruit before rising through the ranks. The letters also show how the Irish division was influenced by the turmoil of contemporary politics in Ireland.

This book is made up of Staniforth's letters home, starting with his arrival at the training camp in Ireland, through Loos, the Somme, Passchendaele and the German Spring Offensive of 1918.

History of War

From these letters, the author emerges as an attractive character: brave, conscientious and modest, and with a good sense of humour. The publication of this book is most timely, making a fine contribution to the literature of the Great War.

Adrian Gilbert, www.warbooksreview.com

There are few better accounts of the Great War than this. Will also be of interest to those studying Ireland during the war.

Stand To - Western Front Association

About Richard Grayson

Professor Richard S. Grayson is Head of History and Professor of Twentieth Century History at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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