Sapper Martin: The Secret Great War Diary of Jack Martin Diary – 7 Jun 2010
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Praise for The Soldier's War 'Thousands of books have been written about the Great War, but perhaps none so vividly evocative as Richard van Emden's The Soldier's War ... an extraordinary homage to a lost generation' Daily Mail 'A remarkably distressing yet uplifting book ... these descriptions from a Tommy's eye-view have a gut-wrenching immediacy' Daily Mail 'In The Soldier's War, Richard van Emden has toiled in archives and hunted down caches of letters to tell the story of the war chronologically through the eyes of the Tommies who fought it, recording their days of tedium and moments of terror' The Times
About the Author
Richard van Emden has interviewed over 270 veterans of the Great War and has written ten books on the Great War including The Trench, and The Last Fighting Tommy (both top ten bestsellers), The Soldier's War, Boy Soldiers of the Great War and Prisoners of the Kaiser. He has also worked on more than a dozen television programmes on the Great War, including Prisoners of the Kaiser, Veterans, Britain's Last Tommies, and the award winning Roses of No Man's Land and Britain's Boy Soldiers.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sapper Albert Martin took a considerable risk keeping his diaries, it was strictly against regulations and he probably would have been severely punished had the diaries been discovered.
Sapper Martins diaries were written in an easy reading style yet they hold the readers attention at every turn of the page, I found this book very difficult to put down. It is a fascinating tale of an ordianary soldier doing his duty that shows us the true reality of life at the front, from the mundane existance and boredom to the extreme horror and fear experienced by these men, this book really is a superb read and Mr Van Emden has done an excellent job editing the diaries.
I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone and I fail to see how this book would not be enjoyed by everyone who reads it, it is a book that should be read by those with a either strong or passing interest in the subject.
Thank you to Albert Martin for keeping his diaries, and thank you to Mr Van Emden for making them available to the public.
The interest of these books often rests on the nature of the author's service, the theatre of war they served in, their rank and the nature of their service, not to mention their skill as a writer.
Sapper Jack Martin's Diary, ably edited by Richard van Emden, was presumably written in secret (diary keeping was banned at the front) or with the tacit approval of Martin's superiors. It is an outstanding example of an enlisted man's war: Martin's skill as a writer makes this an invaluable addition to the genre.
Martin served in the Royal Engineers, a volunteer from a stern no-conformist background. He served in the Brigade signals of the 122nd Infantry brigade, part of the 41st Division. (His brigade included the 12th East Surreys, 15th Hampshire's, 11th Royal West Kents, and the 18th Kings Royal Rifle Corps - research into these battalions will find this book of particular interest). The Division was deployed in France in May 1916, served o the Somme (where Martin's diary begins in September 1916); in the battle of Messines in summer 1917 and on the Flanders coast. In November 1918 they were sent to Italy to stem the Austro-Hungarian advance and Martin's description of Italy is especially striking. They returned to the Western front in February 1918, enduring the hammer blows of the German Spring Offensive, and after the Hundred Day's advance, finishing the war in occupation duties in Cologne.Read more ›
I found this book to be highly compelling and I would strongly recommend it to any student of not only the Great War but also of early 20th Century.
This book is much more than a collection of diary entries cobbled together to form a book.
To any body interested in the great war, I can thoroughly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought for a friend who loved every page..What more can you say ?Published 6 months ago by Jane in Crete
My husband was once a sapper and thought he would enjoy this book. He did :)Published 9 months ago by margaret douglas
very well written and very informative. the fact that the men were forbidden to keep diaries but that some of them did, including officers helps the person who has no real... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Chris
I found this to be a useful insight in to the life of a Royal Engineer in the Great War. Most books of this type have traditionally covered mainly infantrymen so it's a nice change... Read morePublished 13 months ago by John
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