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War! Hellish War! Star Shell Reflections 1916-1918 (ePub)

The Illustrated Diaries of Jim Maultsaid

Military WWI > Battles & Campaigns > Somme

By Jim Maultsaid, Edited by Barbara McClune
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 18.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 250
ISBN: 9781473879454
Published: 8th June 2016


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Jim Maultsaid’s illustrated diaries of his Great War service offer a unique and completely original perspective of a fighting man’s experiences.

Although an American citizen Jim was living in Donegal in 1914 and first joined the Young Citizens Volunteers and then the British Army.

On 1 July 1916 the first day of the Somme, Sergeant Maultsaid was seriously wounded. To quote from his diary as he lay in no-mans-land ‘The most awful cries rent the night air…it was a shambles…it was ‘Hell’ with the lid off… it was’.

Unlike so many, Jim survived and was hospitalised in ‘Blighty’. After a spell in Northern Ireland, he was selected for officer training at Cambridge. He was commissioned into The Chinese Labour Corps and his words and art work throw fascinating light on this little known but invaluable organization. Jim’s admiration for the CLC’s contribution and culture is obvious.

War! Hellish War! is more than a Great War diary – it is a masterpiece and a collector’s item of great historical and educational value. Despite the countless records of this conflict there is nothing to compare it with.

Taken as a whole, this work provides a panoramic perspective on the experience of civilian soldiers, with a journalist’s skill in weaving together an accessible account of what purports to be one man’s evidently exciting and moving experiences.

First World War Studies

As featured in

Stand To! Western Front Association, October 2019

A worthwhile, interesting and enjoyable read.

Read the full review here.


As featured in

Donegal Democrat

As featured in

Donegal Now

'One hundred years on, following a labour of love by grand-daughter Barbara McClune who typed up and edited the original hand-written bound journals, Jim Maultsaid's account of the First World War offers a genuine, and often humorous, insight into the thoughts of an ordinary soldier.'

Irish News

As featured in.

Military History Monthly June 2016

About Jim Maultsaid

Jim Maultsaid was born in Pennsylvania in 1893 to Irish parents who returned to Donegal. Although he left school at 13 he was naturally gifted at both writing and drawing. Despite being an American citizen he joined the British Army in 1914. He was badly wounded on the First Day of the Somme (1 July 1916). Unfit for further active duty, he was commissioned in 1917 and worked with the Chinese Labour Corps until early 1920.

In the post-years he expanded the notes and sketches made in France into these unique Diaries.

 Barbara McClune
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