A Young Man's War
The Diary and Letters of W. L. Ward (1918)
by Alec Ward
Publishers: The Medlar Press
First published 2008
Hardback (92 pages)
Binding: Cased with jacket
Illustrations: Colour and Monochrome photographs
William Leslie Ward joined the army, into the Oxford Yeomanry, in 1917. He was just eighteen. The following year he was sent to France. The big Spring 1918 German offensive was in progress. Before long his draft joined the 3rd Worcester Regiment and he was involved as a Lewis gunner in a counter-attack at Kemmel. The unit was then moved south, supposedly to recuperate, but after a surprise German attack, became involved in the 3rd Battle of the Aisne. It was there, near Concevreux, that on 27th May William Leslie was put out of action by a bullet wound in the leg and eventually made it home to 'Blighty'.
The focus of A Young Man's War are the letters that William Leslie sent home on a regular basis during his short time in France. There is also an introductory chapter about the causes of the First World War, the conditions of trench warfare and the impact of the war on life at home. The appendices include more detail about the 3rd Battle of the Aisne, a crucial battle in the Great War.
This book is a story of the life of just one ordinary man but it helps us to remember the enormous sacrifices made by all those young men who fought on our behalf - men like W. L. Ward who were fortunate and returned home and the thousands like him who did not. Lest we forget . . .
This book is available from The Medlar Press, The Grange, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9DE.
Price is £7.95 plus £3 post & packing.
This book is available direct online or by mail order from the Medlar Press at www.medlarpress.com or call 01691 623225. More information can be found at the Young Man's War website http://web.me.com/thegrange/A_YOUNG_MANS_WAR/HOME.html