Llewelyn Wyn Griffith's Up to Mametz, published in 1931, is now firmly established as one of the finest accounts of soldiering on the Western Front. It tells the story of the creation of a famous Welsh wartime battalion (The Royal Welsh Fusiliers), its training, its apprenticeship in the trenches, through to its ordeal of Mametz Wood on the Somme as part of 38 Division. But there it stopped. General Jonathon Riley has however discovered Wyn Griffiths unpublished diaries and letters which pick up where Up to Mametz left off through to the end of the War. With careful editing and annotation, the events of these missing years are now available alongside the original work. They tell of an officers life on the derided staff and provide fascinating glimpses of senior officers, some who attract high praise and others who the author obviously despised. The result is an enthralling complete read and a major addition to the bibliography of the period.
Llewelyn Wyn Griffiths was born into a Welsh speaking family in Llandrillo yn Rhos, North Wales. He joined the Civil Service as a Tax Surveyor. Aged 24 on the outbreak of War, he was accepted for a commission in the 15th (1st London Welsh) Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and served in the Battalion or on the staff for the rest of the War. Returning to the Inland Revenue he was responsible for the pay-As-You-Earn tax system, retiring in 1952. He filled many distinguished appointments, such as the Arts Council, and was a regular broadcaster. Awarded an Honorary DLitt by the University of Wales, he was holder of the CBE, OBE, Croix de Guerre and an MID. He died in 1977.
"Wyn Griffith was a keen observer of life in the trenches with a writer’s flare for conveying the futility and fatigue that accompanied monotonous days struggling against mud and the elements."Roads to the Great War, December 2021
Featured inGreat War IPMS, Great War SIG newsletter – October 2021
As referenced inStand To! Journal of the Western Front Association
Among the very best First World War memoirs. It is serious, amused, detached and true.The Spectator
Up to Mametz is a classic account of life on the Western Front, first published in 1931 and ending with the costly capture of Mametz Wood on the Somme in 1916. A quarter of a century later the same author produced a very different account of his time as a staff officer. This book contains both texts - the first as originally written, the second supported by some of Llewelyn wyn Griffith's letters and other writing.History of war website
Both parts of the book are of the highest quality, and of great interest. The first gives us a compelling view of life at the front, while the second presents a rather more balanced view of the life and roll of the much maligned staff officers.
THis book ranks as one of the classic texts of The Great War, describing the authors and his fellow Royal Welch Fusiliers Officers transformation from civilian to battle hardened veterans on the Somme.Pennant Magazine