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

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Product Description

Media: BOOK - paperback, 368 pages
Author: E. Lynch & W. Davies
Year: 2008
ISBN: 9781741668940
Other: 2nd ed., b&w photos, maps, glossary
Publisher: Random House Australia

'It's the end of 1916 winter and the conditions are almost unbelievable. We live in a world of Somme mud. We sleep in it, work 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.'

Private Edward Lynch enlisted in the army at just eighteen. As his ship set sail from Sydney, the band played 'Boys of the Dardanells' and the crowd proudly waved off their fresh-faced men. Men who had no idea of the harsh reality of the trenches of Somme; of the pale-faced, traumatised soldiers they would encounter there; of the innumerable contradictions of war.

Upon his return from France in 1919, Private Lynch wrote 'Somme Mud' in pencil in twenty school exercise books, perhaps in the hope of coming to terms with all that he had witnessed. Published for the first time, Private Lynch's work is a rare, precious find. It vividly captures the horror and magnitude of the First World War, written from the perspective of ordinary infantrymen rather than officers.

Told with dignity, candour and surprising wit, 'Somme Mud' is a testament to the power of the human spirit. Out of the mud that threatens to suck out a man's very soul rises a compelling story of humanity and friendship.

1. Good-bye, Sydney Town, Good-bye
2. France and Fritz
3. Holding the Line
4. Making Back from the Line
5. In Support
6. Fallen Comrades
7. Straightening the Line
8. A Night in the Line
9. The Carrying Party
10. Mixing it a Messines
11. A Quiet Innings
12. Passing it on at Passchendaele
13. Digging in at Dernancourt
14. Around Villers-Bret
15. Hammering at Hamel
16. Leap-frogging to Victory
17. Following Fritz
18. 'Fini la Guerre'
19. A Dinner to the Troops
20. Till the Boys Come Home

Lynch has left a mighty tribute to his mates, an epic of his generation, and a great gift to his country. I wish I had met him. - Bill Gammage

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