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War is War (Hardback)

By Ex-Private X

WWI Military Biography Great War Memoirs

By A M Burrage
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 228
ISBN: 9781848841543
Published: 30th April 2010
Last Released: 28th April 2010

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Alfred Burrage's War is War is his sincere and successful attempt to record his experiences as a private soldier in France during the First World War, his reactions to abnormal conditions and his observations. Written in the 1920s he wanted the curious to know what war was really like. Burrage realised that nearly all such memoirs were written by ex-officers who inevitably saw the war from a different view point to Tommy Atkins – as he put it, the officers 'were only with us, not of us, and they cannot get inside our skins.'

In this account, written of necessity under a pseudonym, he covers the wide canvas of war, from off duty moments in grubby estaminets and brothels, to life in shell torn trenches, going over the top with equally terrified yet resigned comrades, being a casualty, to periods of numbing boredom.

War is War is superbly crafted and phrased and will be revelation to even the most informed student of The Great War. Private X writes with complete honesty and avoids sentimentality. How fortunate that he at least survived his ordeal to share with us nearly 100 years later his thoughts, fears and experiences.

Educated at Douai School, Alfred McLelland Burrage earned his living writing short stories for the many magazines and periodicals of the period. After his war in the Artist's Rifles, he enjoyed considerable success as a literary figure, until fashions changed and short stories were killed off by the Second World War. He died soon after.

Strongly recommended account of the the ordinary man at war

The Western Front Association Stand To! Magazine
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Like Ypres, Arras was a front line town throughout the Great War. From March 1916 it became home to the British Army and it remained so until the Advance to Victory was well under way. In 1917 the Battle of Arras came and went. It occupied barely half a season, but was then largely forgotten; the periods before and after it have been virtually ignored, and yet the Arras sector was always important and holding it was never easy or without incident; death, of course, was never far away. The area around Arras is as rich in Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries as anywhere else on the Western…

By Peter Hughes

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