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on 20 July 2010
For anybody wanting to have an insight into what it was like to serve in the trenches in WW1 - this is it. This book has particular resonance with me as my grandfather was a machine gunner, as was Edward Rowbotham whose memoirs are featured. The story is straightforward and uncomplicated ; it chronicles the life of an ordinary Tommy at war and surviving in the trenches. Indeed he was just one of six who survived from his original company from when he volunteered. It is not a direct day by day account, nor does it get bogged down in the `big politics' of the conflict nor the debates on how the war should have been managed, nor does it make political points about Lions led by Donkeys, although clearly the Lions are in the trenches. This book tells you how it was at the sharp end of the conflict in a very readable way.
Nevertheless it gives amazing insights into a bygone age. An age where heroism was understated, where there was a clear sense of right and wrong, a concept of honour and doing one's duty. Whatever has been said, Edward Rowbotham, a coal miner from the Midlands, is far from ordinary despite serving throughout the war in the ranks. His bravery, his steadfastness under fire and pressure, his taking the blows of life and carrying on, are exceptional. My grandfather `did his bit' ; but my forbear was called up, and was a reluctant fighter, who unashamedly was far less brave than the author of this book, sensitively edited by his granddaughter who also pens a well phrased introduction.
Highly recommended.
9 people found this helpful
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on 8 February 2011
Having read the book, this is really how it left me feeling. I was really excited when I first saw the release of the title, because there are so few scripts written by the 'other ranks' from their perspective and because of the subject uncommonly covered, the Machine Gun Corps (MGC). My personal interest comes from my own childhood, hearing of the exploits of my own grandfather, a Private in the MGC. I was hoping that the book would have a good balance between recollections of the fighting, the application of the Vickers Machine Gun and the gun crews' life experiences. Sadly there is once again very little recorded about the application of the prime fighting weapon that Mr Rowbotham and his colleagues used during those dark days and much is told of the day to day routine of life in the trenches, something covered many times before.

I fully realise that Janet Tucker was only able to bring to print the text that her grandfather had left behind and for this I am grateful for her endeavours. But I also think that the book should have retained its original title, this is how Mr Rowbotham christened it. Thank you for reading my comments.
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on 15 April 2018
great
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on 7 July 2010
This book made me both laugh and cry! A wonderful read!
I bought this excellent book following being shown medal's and postcards from my own Grandfather's time in the first world war. Mud, blood and Bullets is beautifully delivered by Janet Tucker, Grand-daughter of Edward Rowbothan, who presented these fantastically detailed memoirs of his time in the first world war. I found this book to be a compelling read, both personally and educationally. It stirred my emotions, gave me a sense of the reality of Edward's experiences, but importantly this was set in the context of the individual world of Edward 'the man'. This book made me cry and also held a great deal of humour - Janet and her Grandfather make a very good team!
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on 22 October 2014
Well written, honest , moving and open memoirs of a Tommy . Very enlightening . Definitely worth a read if interested in this era of history. For this old Tommy he has not been lost to history but is very much a part of history.
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on 22 June 2015
Enjoyable book love first hand experiences of the soldier on the front line.if like me you enjoy ww1 stories you should read this book.
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on 1 May 2016
Lovely personal view from a member of the Machine Gun Corps, the same as my Grandfather fought for. It gave insight into some of the life my grandfather must have had.
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on 20 March 2015
A good honest book written by a young itinerant soldier, having endured the nightmare that was the lot of the infantry regiments in the first world war.
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on 15 January 2017
The book started as the life of a young lad. But his experience and his description of a soldiers life on the Western Front is marvellous, plain and straight forward.
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on 6 March 2016
This was a present. The person really enjoyed it.
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