The War the Infantry Knew by James Dunn / Siegfried Sassoon 1st / 1st 1938
London: P.S. King and Son Limited (1938) A near fine copy of this scarce title. The boards are bright and show very little fading at all. The spine is not sunned, and the gilt titling is bright. The front free end paper has some light foxing. There is very little handling wear and no previous owner’s ink.
A scarce title with contributions from serving Royal Welch Fusiliers including Siegfried Sassoon who served as Captain. It is one of only 500 copies printed. It is a recollection from serving soldiers in diary form of their time in the conflict. The battalion included the authors of two of the most famous literary accounts of the Great War, Graves and Sassoon, with the latter contributing a chapter to the present work entitled “A Subaltern’s Service in Camp and in Action,” covering the period from March 12th to April 16th, 1917, which is described as, “An early draft of pages of Memoirs of an Infantry Officer.” Graves offered to contribute, but Dunn was not an admirer of Goodbye to all that and declined his offer. Graves is mentioned, disparagingly, a handful of times in the text. Dunn’s is an extraordinary book, in the Face of Battle John Keegan described it as “one of the most interesting and revealing books of its type a genuinely truthful and fascinating picture of the war as it was for the infantry.” Compiled in diary form from the reminiscences of around 50 members of the Battalion, it is without doubt the most authentic account of the experience of the Western Front at Battalion level.