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Temporary Heroes (ePub)

Lieutenant Norman Cecil Down

WWI 1915 1916

By Richard van Emden
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 896.0 KB (.epub)
Pages: 252
ISBN: 9781473841925
Published: 14th October 2014


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This is a short book based on the letters written between 1915 and 1916 by an officer serving with the 1/4th Gordon Highlanders. Second Lieutenant Down wrote regularly to his girlfriend/fiancée throughout his time in France, letters which were published in 1917 after he was wounded and discharged from the army.

Cecil Down is a superb writer, but more than that he has a natural wit that translates easily to the page, making this one of the most enjoyable books I have read on the war.

I have chosen this book because it is so different from anything else I have read. He captures life in France with great accuracy while remaining steadfastly upbeat and humorous. Nevertheless, there are moments when he is serious, and that makes his words poignant and attention-grabbing.

Norman went to France in February 1915, serving continuously until July 1916. He died on 14 March 1984 aged 91

Makes for excellent reading. 10/10

The Great War Magazine

As seen in the Isle of Thanet Gazette.

Isle of Thanet Gazette
 Richard Van Emden

About Richard van Emden

Richard van Emden has interviewed over 270 veterans of the Great War and has written widely on the 1914-18 conflict.

Previous books include Britain's Last Tommies, Boy Soldiers of the Great War, All Quiet on the Home Front, Prisoners of the Kaiser and the top five best-selling The Trench. He has visited the Somme and Ypres every year since 1985 and has an expert knowledge of the First World War battlefields.

He currently lives in London.

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