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War Letters To A Wife Paperback – 13 Feb 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 426 pages
  • Publisher: Naval and Military Press; New ed of 1930 ed edition (13 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843421305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843421306
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,011,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The Feilding family has close associations with the Coldstream Guards and Rowland Feilding, who was a captain in the City of London Yeomanry when war broke out, transferred to them and was appointed to the 3rd Battalion (4th Guards Brigade) which he joined in May 1915; ten days later he was transferred to the 1st Battalion. Following an accident in November he spent four months back home, returning to France in April 1916 to the Guards Entrenching Battalion near Bray-sur-Somme. On 7th September he took command of the Connaught Rangers (16th Irish Division) which he held for the next 18 months before again being incapacitated in an accident and invalided. In August 1918 he returned to France and was given command of the 1/15th London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles), a post he retained until demobilization in 1919.
This is a brilliant book, one of the finest personal accounts of war on the Western Front I have yet read. Feilding was a front line soldier, a natural leader, and these letters, written so closely after the events they describe, give a vivid picture of the sights and scenes on and off the battlefield and lucidly express his own thoughts and feelings. Visiting Mametz three days after its capture on 1st July 1916 he writes: Scarcely a wall stands, and of the trees nothing remains but mangled twisted stumps. The ruins present an appalling and most gruesome picture of the havoc of war, seen fresh, which no pen or picture can describe. You must see it, and smell it, and hear the sounds to understand. It brings a sort of sickening feeling to me even now, though I consider myself hardened to such sights.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was quite a journey. All four and a half years of the war recorded in letters to Rowland Fielding's wife. I was astounded by how much he described and spoke of. I expected it to be dry and boring, but the stories he spoke of and the action on the front kept me fascinated all along.

These letters really opened my eyes to what men have gone through during wartime. The writer had an understanding for other men, and for the effort they put in their duty. His Christian nature came out in his letter. He spoke of Providence a lot more than he did luck or chance (although the author, from what I gathered, was obviously Catholic).

Also, you see how much he cares for his wife through his letters. The fact that he spoke of so many details and kept nothing from her showed his love. Through his words you see the kind of man he was. I really enjoyed this book and it gave me some new insight on the Great War and those involved.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This contains detailed letters written home from the front but there's nothing personal here as promised in the title (Letters to a Wife): Feilding writes vividly of war, life in the trenches, of the devastated landscapes, and of the drawn-out de-mob process, ending as he finally comes home in 1919.

Because these are letters written in the moment, they don't, of course, have the retrospective perspective of classic memoirs such as Goodbye To All That - but offer something immediate and close to the moment.

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy via Netgalley
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