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Nothing of Importance

John Bernard Pye Adams

Book Overview: 

Fighting in France during the Great War, Bernard Adams, an officer with a Welsh battalion, was moved to chronicle what he saw and experienced: the living conditions and duties of officers and “Tommies” (enlisted men) in their dank, rat-infested trenches and behind the lines; the maiming and deaths; and the quiet periods described in official reports as “nothing of importance”. Adams relates his wounding in June, 1916 and its aftermath. The concluding chapter, which he wrote during his convalescence in “Blighty” (soldiers’ slang for England), is an impassioned reflection on war. Following several months of recuperation Adams returned to the front where, on February 26, 1917 he was wounded again. The following day he died.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It is mainly temperament. Our company had four casualties: one in the front trench, the three others in the platoon in support. “C” Company suffered more heavily. At 6.0 Edwards came on duty, and I was able to go in quest of two bombers who were said to be wounded. Getting near the place I came on a man standing half-dazed in the trench. “Oh, 35 sirrh,” he cried, in the burring speech of a true Welshman. “A terench-mohrterh hass fall-en ericht in-ter me duck-out.” For the moment I felt like laughing at the man’s curious speech and look, but I saw that he was greatly scared: and no wonder. A trench mortar had dropped right into the mouth of his dug-out, and had half buried two of his comrades. We were soon engaged in extricating them. Both had bad head wounds, and how he escaped is a miracle. I helped carry the two men out and over the debris of flattened trenches to Company Headquarters. So, for the first time I looked upon . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I wish I could give this book a 6 star rating. I have previously read Sassoon and Graves, who also belonged to RWF regiment. Sadly Bernard Adams died during the war, which makes this memoir even more poignant. You know from get go that this story will not end well even though the author himself does

A good read indeed

I read lots of Western Front material both history and fiction. This account is as honest as any and is the writing of a truly decent bloke. He shares his life 'over there' good and bad, with a truth rarely found in this sort of work. I feel that I know him now. It's a great shame


Excellent. Written by the author as he recovered from an injury received whilst on active service in France during the Great War. A true, first hand, eye witness account of what it was to experience the horror of fighting in the trenches, both physically and mentally.

Another war memoir which doesn’t start in a promising way and there was certainly a temptation to give up about half way as it seemed very like many other memoirs of its type. However I’m glad I finished it. The title comes from a phrase commonly used in dispatches; nothing of importance happened on

Surely one of the finest books ever written about the First World War. A captivating read about Bernard Adams (a reporter) who joined the Army and penned a first hand account about his time on the 'front line'. Brilliant stuff.

An excellent account, personal experience of the eight weeks leading up to the 'big push' at the Somme.

An officer, he describes his keenness at first, then gradually the noise, the mud, the loss of his men starts to eat away at his certainty.

It ends by being a plea against war, for those in charge

A brilliant, powerful, feverish, and honest take on the Great War, written by a soldier on medical leave. He eventually returned to the front, never to return.

Call it 3.5. stars.

Said to be the first published memoir by a serving World War One soldier -- published September 1917.

Covers the period October 1915 to June 1916, when Adams was wounded. He later returned to action and was killed in 1917.

The book is anti-war -- how could it be anything but? -- how

This is a piece of First World War literature that should not be overlooked. From the supreme irony of the title to the powerful final pages, this book is excels. It gains from being a faithful account of one man's experience recorded without embelishment. It should sit up their with Sassoon, Graves

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