by Edward G. D. Liveing
One Young Man
by John Ernest Hodder-Williams
Two immediate accounts of the Battle of the Somme
The attack on the fortified village of Gommecourt took place on July 1st 1916 and was an essential component of the first great allied attack of the Battle of the Somme. This is not a book of great strategy, but of the very personal experience of war as lived by ordinary men. Here two accounts have been brought together, both for the sake of value and by virtue of their comparatively short lengths, because they may have not been published independently. The first account is by the commander of No.5 Platoon of a battalion of the County of London Regiment. It takes the reader through the preparations for and the actual undertaking and aftermath of the attack in graphic detail. The work is an invaluable detailed record of a platoon action on the Somme, but also one of the most riveting pieces of Western Front infantry action first hand experience available. The second piece-written in the form of letters-reveals the march to war of an ordinary young man until he became a veteran infantryman. The action centres once again on the Somme in the Gommecourt sector.