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Somme Mud : The War Experiences of an Australian Infantryman in France 1916-1919 - E.P.F. Lynch

Somme Mud

The War Experiences of an Australian Infantryman in France 1916-1919


Published: April 2008
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Published: 1st May 2010
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Written with dignity, candour and surprising wit, this soldier’s story of the horror of the Western Front trenches is a testament to the power of the human spirit.

'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 (18 when he enlisted) 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 edition of twenty chapters, was written in pencil in twenty school exercise books in 1921, probably to help exorcise the horrendous experiences Private Lynch 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.

Published here for the first time, and to the great excitement of historians at the War Memorial 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. From his first day setting sail for France as the band played 'Boys of the Dardanelles' and the crowd proudly waved their fresh-faced boys off, to the harsh reality of the trenches of France and its pale-faced weary men, Lynch captures the essence and contradictions of war.

Somme Mud is Australia's version of All Quiet on the Western Front. Told with dignity, candour and surprising wit, it is a testament to the power of the human spirit, a moving true story of humanity and friendship.

About the Editor

Will Davies began his professional life in the film industry after graduating from the Australian National University in 1971. For the last thirty five years he has worked as a producer on a broad range of feature films, television documentaries, commercials and corporate productions including an IMAX 70mm film for the Bicentenary.

As a leading producer for his company LOOK FILMS, he has produced major documentary series like When the War Came to Australia for the ABC, Tales From a Suitcase for SBS and the series Our Century for Channel Nine.

He has had four books published: Tales From a Suitcase, Tales From a Suitcase: The Afghan Experience, Fighting Masoud's War and Somme Mud.


Interesting for a Australian Military Reader


Very much like all the British Somme books I have read . Not an easy read ,mutch to upsetting for the average peraon . But it is a story told by ordinary soldiers ,so good for history reseachers.

South Australia


personal perspective


Always enjoy firstperson accounts, no glory, just the history

melbourne AU


A digger's personal account


This book has been favourably compared to Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. I would argue that it is better as it adds some of the historical context not just the personal experience. You can follow Nulla's progress across the Somme where name places will resonate with a student of history. The story is full of the Australian argot of the time and some racist epithets which can be a little distracting but lends greater authenticity and keeps it in context. If you like this try Fredrick Manning's The Middle Parts of Fortune (English soldier) or Ernst Junger's Storm of Steel (German).

South Coast, NSW,


The WWI must-read for Aussies & Kiwis


This is the first-stop, non-fiction read for Aussies interested in their contribution & experiences in the First World War. A detailed description of daily life in a diary style, puts you there with the soldiers. A must-read before progressing to more detailed titles like "The Great War", for example.

Not Melbourne, AU




Informative war story

Orange AU


Every responsible citizen should read th


This classic spells out the message of the futility of war. Yet we still glamorise it and send our youth off to appease the budgets of the arms manufacturers of the world. Why is it that pretty well every country has a budget thatis geared to war and the development of weaponry?

Buderim Qld.


Somme Mud : The War Experiences of an Australian Infantryman in France 1916-1919

4.0 6


"It is not written by a polished or professional writer but is a participants true story told in an authentic Australian voice - dispassionate, laconic and free of histronics, false heroics and phony literary flourishes." "The Mercury Magazine"" "If you have any interest in the history of war or if you simply like books filled with emotion then you must read this." "Swan Hill Guardian"" "Lynch shows remarkable maturity in his abitlty to capture the banality of terror." "The Age""

ISBN: 9781741668940
ISBN-10: 1741668948
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: April 2008
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.26
Edition Number: 2