The Diary of a Dead Officer by Arthur Graeme West 1st / 1st 1918
London: The Herald (1918). First UK edition and issue. This is an excellent copy in the scarce dust wrapper. The wrapper has minor wear to the spine ends and corners and is very well preserved. There is a mark to the centre of the front panel and dull patches across the wrapper in general. The book has a tiny previous owner’s name and date to the inside board. The pages and boards are very clean.
Published shortly after the war, Diary of a Dead Officer charts the growing disillusionment of a British officer, Arthur Graeme West, who enlisted in the army in 1915 out of a sense of duty and patriotism. These principles soon changed to a growing sense of disenchantment as he experienced the reality of army life and the way the war was being conducted in France. The diary is seen as one of the first realistic accounts of life in the army and the conditions in the trenches. The diary also contains poems that are regarded as among the first realistic poems of the war such as ‘The Night Patrol’ and ‘God! How I Hate You, You Young Cheerful Men!’. West was killed by a sniper in April 1917.