Somme Battle Stories

Alec John DAWSON (1872 - 1951)

Stories of World War I warfare, published in 1916 in the midst of the war. (That's why names of persons and units are literally "blanked" out.) Alec John Dawson (1872 - 1951), generally known as A. J. Dawson (pseudonyms Major Dawson, Howard Kerr, Nicholas Freydon) was an English author, traveller and novelist. During World War I he attained the rank of Major, and was awarded the MBE and Croix de Guerre in recognition of his work as a military propagandist, a work the listener may want to keep in mind. (Terminology note: "Boche" means the Germans, singular or plural; "Blighty" means hospitalization in England; "The Push" means fighting in the Somme offensive.)

The Battle of the Somme (French: Bataille de la Somme, German: Schlacht an der Somme), also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on either side of the River Somme in France. The battle was one of the largest of World War I, in which more than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of humanity's bloodiest battles.... 1 July 1916 was also the worst day in the history of British Army, which had c. 60,000 casualties,... The British Army on the Somme was a mixture of the remains of the pre-war regular army, Territorial Force and the Kitchener Army which was composed of Pals battalions, recruited from the same places and occupations, whose losses had a profound social impact in Britain.... The Battle of the Somme has been called the beginning of modern all-arms warfare, during which Kitchener's Army learned to fight the mass-industrial war, which the continental armies had been engaged in for two years. This view sees the British contribution to the battle as part of a coalition war and part of a process, which took the strategic initiative from the German Army and caused it irreparable damage, leading to its collapse in late 1918. (Wikipedia, Battle Of The Somme) ( Wikipedia and david wales)

Genre(s): War & Military

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter 1 "What It's Like" In The Push David Wales
00:15:50
Play 02 Chapter 2 The Spirit Of The British Soldier David Wales
00:11:15
Play 03 Chapter 3 The Moral Of The Boche David Wales
00:11:34
Play 04 Chapter 4 An Irish Officer Describes The Indescribable David Wales
00:09:52
Play 05 Chapter 5 Close Quarters David Wales
00:09:07
Play 06 Chapter 6 The Devil's Wood David Wales
00:10:24
Play 07 Chapter 7 The Cockney Fighter David Wales
00:09:10
Play 08 Chapter 8 "We Don't Count Wounds In My Regiment" David Wales
00:08:16
Play 09 Chapter 9 A Reverend Corporal David Wales
00:10:08
Play 10 Chapter 10 Brothers Of The Parsonage David Wales
00:10:18
Play 11 Chapter 11 The Australian As A Fighter David Wales
00:07:51
Play 12 Chapter 12 News For The O.C. Company At Home David Wales
00:09:31
Play 13 Chapter 13 "Stickfast" And His Officer David Wales
00:09:29
Play 14 Chapter 14 A Cool Canadian David Wales
00:09:56
Play 15 Chapter 15 The Hospital Mail-bags David Wales
00:10:42
Play 16 Chapter 16 The Difference David Wales
00:08:35
Play 17 Chapter 17 What Every M.O. Knows David Wales
00:09:06
Play 18 Chapt er 18 The South African David Wales
00:06:42
Play 19 Chapter 19 "It's A Great Do" David Wales
00:08:36
Play 20 Chapter 20 On The Way To London David Wales
00:08:48