Read Boy Soldiers of the Great War Online

Authors: Richard van Emden

Boy Soldiers of the Great War (53 page)

BOOK: Boy Soldiers of the Great War
Parker, Ernest W.,
Into Battle
, Leo Cooper, 1994
Parker, George,
The Tale of a Boy Soldier
, QueenSpark Books, 2001
The War Office,
Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire
, The War Office, 1922
Turner, William,
Accrington Pals
, Pen & Sword Books, 1998
van Emden, Richard,
Tickled to Death to Go
, Spellmount, 1996
van Emden, Richard,
Last Man Standing
, Pen & Sword Books, 2002
Walkinton, M. L.,
Twice In A Lifetime
, Samson Books, 1980
Winter, Denis,
Death’s Men
, Allen Lane, 1978


The Times
: 10 August 1914, 14 May 1915, 10 March 1916, 6 August 1916
Daily Mail
: 12 July 1915, 14 July 1915, 22 June 1916
Daily Sketch
: 27 July 1915


Comrades in Khaki
Issues 1–12, April 1915–April 1916
The Journal of the Western Front Association Number 13 Spring 1985,
Communication Lines
, letter, Len Thomas, p. 48
Number 14 Summer 1985,
My Experiences In The Great War
, Alec Stringer, pp. 5–6
Number 23 Summer 1988,
One Man’s War: 4
, Herbert Gutteridge, pp. 13–15
Official Reports, Fifth Series,
Parliamentary Debates 1914–1918,
Volumes 59–110

Unpublished Sources

Unpublished war memoirs of Victor Cole
War letters of Ernest Fitchett
War letters of Cyril José
Memories of an Old Contemptible
by Charles Parke Unpublished war memoirs of George White
Imperial War Museum
Department of Documents:
Diary of Len Thomas, 74/148/1
Unpublished memoirs of George Fortune, 04/5/1
MS letter of Lieutenant Colonel J. H. Lloyd, Misc 208 (3013) Papers of Sir Herbert Creedy, Con. Volume 1, Folios 86–90
Unpublished memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel William Kerr MBE MM, 86/53/1
Sound Archives:
Horace Calvert, 9955/19
Donald Price, 10168/14
British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics
Markham, Violet Rosa:
MP’s Correspondence Files
Liddle Archive, University of Leeds
Documents relating to George Adams, GS 0006
Documents relating to Albert Harvey, RNMN (REC) 042
Documents relating to John Campbell, CO 017
The National Archives, Kew
Borstal Association Records: HO 247
Field General Courts Martial Records June/July 1916: WO 213/9
Officers’ Services, First World War, Long Number Papers: WO 339
Soldiers’ Documents, First World War: WO 363 & 374
Records of the National Service League: WO 105/41/48
Recruitment: WO 32, 106, 159 CAB 1, 37, 41, 42, and Registration: WO 159
Unit War Diaries: Army WO 95 & RFC/RAF AIR 1
War Office Instructions: WO 293/1/2/3

Interviews conducted by the author with the following Great War veterans

Alfred Anderson
Horace Calvert
Ben Clouting
Vic Cole
Norman Collins
Frank Deane
William Easton
Edward Francis
Helen Gordon-Dean (née McNeil)
Marjorie Grigsby
Horace Ham
Albert Harvey
Frederick Hodges
Hal Kerridge
John Laister
Harold Lawton
Frank Lindley
George Louth
George Maher
Albert ‘Smiler’ Marshall
Royce McKenzie
Donald Price
William Sims
Norman Skelton
Ernest Stevens
Tommy Thomson
Dick Trafford
Percy Williams
Cecil Withers
Alfred Wood.


The known ‘uplift’ in volunteers in the second and greatest rush to the colours in early September 1914, after news of the imperilled BEF’s retreat from
The result of boys such as Smiler Marshall, who were keen to enlist but decided to wait until after Christmas before volunteering.
Also includes the next month, May: the effect of Spring warming and the news of the Germans’ launch of their offensive at Ypres (22nd April) and their dastardly use of poison gas in May (7th). Other significant influences were news of the German sinking of the American Liner
off Ireland, and press reports of the ongoing Zeppelin attacks.
Response to the introduction of the Derby Scheme and the national anxiety over the lack of volunteers. Further news of enemy atrocities included the execution of nurse Edith Cavell.

By the Same Author

Tickled to Death to Go

Veterans: The Last Survivors of the Great War

Prisoners of the Kaiser

The Trench

Last Man Standing

All Quiet on the Home Front

Britain’s Last Tommies

The Last Fighting Tommy
(with Harry Patch)

The Soldier’s War

Sapper Martin
Tommy’s Ark

The Quick and the Dead

First published in Great Britain 2005 by Headline Book Publishing This electronic edition published in August 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Copyright © 2012 by Richard van Emden

The moral right of the author has been asserted All rights reserved
You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
50 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3DP

Bloomsbury Publishing, London, New Delhi, New York and Sydney Every reasonable effort has been made to trace copyright holders of material reproduced in this book, but if any have been inadvertently overlooked the publishers would be glad to hear from them. For legal purposes the acknowledgements and sources constitute an extension of the copyright page A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library eISBN: 978 1 4088 2813 7

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Table of Contents




New Introduction to the 2012 Edition


1 Youthful Dreams

2 For King and Country … and Your Mates

3 The Melting Pot

4 At the Front, at Last

5 Junior Officers

6 The Beginning of a Campaign

7 The Attack

8 The Winding Road to Conscription

9 The Big Push

10 Dear Old Blighty

11 Held to Serve

12 1918: The Year of Decision

13 All or Nothing

14 Aftermath

15 Counting the Cost

16 The Final Reckoning

Plate Section




By the Same Author


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