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VIEWS OF A FORMER GUNNER,
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This review is from: The Reluctant Tommy (Paperback)
I have read Ronald Skirth's 'memoir' with more than a cursory eye. I bought this book having served my National Service with the Royal Artillery also the Honourable Artillery Company. Having read the book, I sent a letter to the 'Gunner' magazine assuming that Skirth's account is a correct account of his military service . On this basis, had Skirth's alteration to the gun sights been discovered, should he have been executed for treason - or hailed as a pacifist hero? Nobody bothered to reply! As a former member of the Western Front Association, I have my doubts but I am willing to try and stand in Skirth's shoes and ask, What would I have done in his position? I should also mention that my father served for over three years in the trenches of France and Flanders - including the carnage of Messines Ridge. He volunteered for a London TA regiment - the Queen's Westminsters - and was transferred having been wounded - to 15th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles (36th Ulster Division). He was discharged in 1918 suffering from 'severe neurasthenia and sent to the then hutted Maudsley Hospital in south London. In short, he was half mad. So whether Skirth's memory is accurate or not, he commands my respect as a sensitive young man.