Haunting Years: Haunting Years

Haunting Years: Haunting Years

  • Publish Date: 2009-02-13
  • Binding: Paperback
Naval and Military Press
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Then began, after a single shot that appeared to be a signal, the hell fury of bombardment from 480 guns and howitzers. The noise almost split our wits......There was no difficulty in making out the German trenches. They had become long clouds of smoke and dust, flashing continuously with shell-bursts, and with enormous masses of trench material and bodies sailing high above the smoke cloud. Thus does the author describe the opening barrage of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle on 10th March 1915.' William Linton Andrews, a Yorkshire man living and working in Dundee, was News Editor of the morning Dundee Advertiser when war broke out. Within a couple of days he was one of a crowd swarming outside the local recruiting office trying to enlist, and when he finally succeeded a few days later he discovered he was not the regular soldier he aspired to be but a Territorial. He tried to transfer but gave up when a dozen or so of his colleagues from the paper marched in and joined him in the 1/4th Black Watch. On 26th February 1915 the battalion arrived in France and joined the Bareilly Brigade of the 7th (Meerut) Division in the Indian Corps and within a few days the battalion was in action at Neuve Chapelle, the first British offensive of the war. For nearly three years Linton served in the trenches, rising to the rank of sergeant, and when he went home in mid-January 1918 to attend an officers training course, he was one of the very few men, possibly the only one, who had been with the battalion all the time. Festubert, Loos, the Somme and Third Ypres - Andrews was in them all and survived them all. As a journalist he has a eye for detail and a facility with the pen that tells a wonderful story. 'In my own copy of the book there is an inscription in the authors handwriting, signed by him; it reads: Written lest others forget our comrades, for we never shall.

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