The First And The Last Of The Sheffield City Battalion


DESCRIPTION: Told through the experiences of two men from very different backgrounds 
who volunteered for a new Pals battalion. This is a poignant and moving story of life in 
The Trenches during the Great War. – Highly Recommended.

http://reviews.firetrench.com

http://adn.firetrench.com

http://bgn.firetrench.com

http://nthn.firetrench.com

http://ftnews.firetrench.com

NAME: The First And The Last Of The Sheffield City Battalion
FILE: R3099
AUTHOR: John Cornwell
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £25.00                                                               
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War I, World War 1, WWI, World War One, The Great War, Pals 
Battalions, Western Front, trench warfare, The Trenches, The Somme, 1914-1918, 
1916

ISBN: 1-52676-224-2

PAGES: 209
IMAGE: B3099.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/uc3fkuw

DESCRIPTION: Told through the experiences of two men from very different 
backgrounds who volunteered for a new Pals battalion. This is a poignant and 
moving story of life in The Trenches during the Great War. – Highly 
Recommended.

As the survivors of WWII are rapidly reducing in numbers and all of those who 
fought in WWI are now gone, it can be difficult for later generations to understand 
what happened in human terms. The two World Wars were also very different. In 
WWI, the military was undertaking the first industrial total war and there were so 
many new things to master. In WWII, it was a matter of refining the tactics and 
strategies in what was a war largely of movement and the coming of age of aircraft, 
with great fleets of Allied bombers returning, with a vengeance, the destruction the 
Germans had merrily inflicted on their neighbours.

The British Army has always been a collection of semi-autonomous regiments and 
corps that have largely recruited from local populations. As the requirements of the 
Second World War and then the Cold War developed, these units have seen 
amalgamation and change but the basis structure continues. In 1914 the British Army 
was fiercely local and one expression of this were the Pals Battalions where young 
men, and the not so young, flocked to the colours almost by the street, to serve with 
the same people they had lived and worked with in peace. In a society that maintained 
strict class divisions, the Pals recruited without class. Those from the Middle and 
Upper Classes may have been more likely to become officers, but their was still a 
common purpose and interest that made the Pals close communities. There was also 
the scope for rapid promotion from Private to NCO, to Commissioned Officer

In this story of two men from 1914, a powerful insight into the mentality and 
conditions of the time is provided in an involving tale. One of the men was a solicitor 
and footballer of 31 years of age who was commissioned in 1915. After initial 
frontline service, he was made a training officer and escaped the massive casualties 
suffered by his battalion on the Somme in 1916, to return to the Trenches in 1917, 
being awarded the Military Cross, only to be killed on the Lys in April 1918.

His comrade was a clerk in the Education Offices who served in the battalion until 
1917. He returned to the Trenches in 1918 and was seriously wounded in his first 
action as an officer, becoming a training officer as his wounds prevented further 
frontline service in the Trenches. He survived the war and lived to 101, becoming 
the last survivor of the 12th Battalion.

A very moving story.