War Diary Of The Master Of Belhaven 1914-1918eBook - 2014
Includes 29 maps. The author of this diary is an artillery officer who served on the Western Front from 1 Sep. 1915 till his death in action on 31st March 1918, and it is one of the best, ranking alongside Old Soldiers Never Die and The Journal of Private Fraser. Following two brief spells in 1914/1915 with the BEF during the first of which he was injured when his horse fell on him, he arrived in France on 1st Sep. 1915 as OC 'C' Battery, 108 Brigade RFA, 24th Division and before the end of the month he was in the thick of it at Loos. His description of the scene is graphic. He writes about trying to get his guns forward on roads jammed with traffic, trying to find the infantry brigade he was supposed to support, floundering about in the dark under heavy shellfire in an enormous plain of clay having the consistency of vaseline, devoid of any landmark or feature, covered in shell holes...Later he gives a vivid account of the German gas attack at Wulverghem on 30 April 1916, when a mixture of chlorine and phosgene was used causing 338 casualties in the division. During Aug. and Sep. 1916 his division took part in the bitter fighting for Delville Wood and Guillemont, and the diary entries for this period provide some of the most powerfully descriptive writing recorded in any memoirs...He was in action at Messines in June 1917 and a month later at Third Ypres. In Aug. 1917 he was finally given command of a brigade, 108th Brigade RFA still in the 24th Division. When the Germans struck on 21st March 1918 Hamilton was on leave in the UK, but he quickly managed to get back to his brigade, which was in action near Rosieres, a few miles east of Amiens. On 31st March he was killed when a shell burst under his horse just as had happened in Oct. 1914; on that occasion he got away with an injury, this time there was no reprieve...
Publisher: [United States] : Pickle Partners Publishing : Made available through hoopla, 2014
Characteristics: 1 online resource