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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