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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 think this is the kind of book everyone needs to read. It's really eye-opening and informative, and it puts you viscerally and emotionally into the trenches of World War I. There were so many gut-wrenching moments, sometimes I had to stop and put it down to collect myself. I think if you want to g

What an experience

What this man must have seen I can only think how terrible. In his conclusion he puts down his thoughts and how right he was.

An outstanding account of life in the trenches by a gifted writer who would not live to see his book published. Tragic and fascinating, Nothing of Importance gets its name from a standard log entry about that day's activities- nothing of importance happened today (much in the same vein as the title

Excellent contemporary Great War Memoir. Covering his service at Loos and on the Somme it includes no great battles but is thoughtful and insightful on periods of static trench warfare. In the 1st Bttn Royal Welch Fusiliers (the names are disguised) his contemporaries included Sassoon and Graves and

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

"Nothing of importance" is somewhere close in sentiment to 2All quiet on the Western Front".
This is a visceral, honest and unpretentious account of an ordinary bloke caught up in the machinations of history and other peoples decisions.
He says what he sees and feels, without spin and unashamed of his

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.

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