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Normally $70 for both books but only $34.95 for 2 books. Save 50%.
Will Davies is an historian, writer and film maker. Most recently he edited the bestselling Somme Mud: the experiences of an Australian infantryman in France 1916-1919, a gut-churning epic which revisits the pointless devastation of the World War One battlefield. Somme Mud was "discovered" by Davies, having been written in the 1920s by Private Lynch, a survivor of those terrible days. While there is no evidence that Lynch actually kept a war-time diary, the book is written with the harrowing authenticity that could only have come from having lived through those terrible dark days.
The voice of Private Lynch:
It's the end of the 1916 winter and the conditions are almost unbelievable. We live in a world of Somme mud. We sleep in it, work in it, fight in it, wade in it and many of us die in it. We see it, feel it, eat it and curse it, but we can't escape it, not even by dying.
Somme Mud tells of the devastating experiences of Edward Lynch, a young Australian private soldier during the First World War when he served with the 45th battalion of the Australian Infantry Forces on the Western Front at the Somme, which saw the most bloody and costly fighting of the war. In just eight weeks, there were 23,000 Australian casualties.The original book of twenty chapters, was written in pencil in twenty school exercise books in 1921, probably to help exorcise the horrendous experiences he had witnessed during his three years at war from mid-1916 until his repatriation home in mid-1919. Lynch had been wounded three times, once seriously and spent over six months in hospital in England. Somme Mud is a precious find, a discovered treasure that vividly captures the magnitude of war through the day-to-day experiences of an ordinary infantryman - and this is a rare book for that reason, as most of the war memoirs have been written by officers.
This month also sees the release of Davies companion book, In the Footsteps of Private Lynch, in which he re-constructs the Private Lynch story. Davies meticulously tracks Lynch and his battalion's travels, their long route marches to flea ridden billets, into the frontline at such places as Messines and Dernancourt and Stormy Trench and Villers Bretonneux, to rest areas behind the lines and finally, on the great push to the final victory after August 1918. In words and pictures, Davies fills in the gaps in Private Lynch's story and through the movements of the other battalions of the AIF provides impact and context to their plight and achievements. Looking at these battlefields today, the pilgrims who visit and those who attend to the land, we come to understand how the spirit of Australia developed.
These two books make compelling reading for any one with an interest in military history, as well as anyone interested in what it is to be Australian. Booktopia is very pleased to be offering these two great books for the very special price of $34.95.
Number Of Pages: 510
Published: August 2008