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Mud, Blood and Bullets: Memoirs of a Machine Gunner on the Western Front
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Mud, Blood and Bullets: Memoirs of a Machine Gunner on the Western Front (Paperback)

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Synopsis

It is 1915 and the Great War has been raging for a year, when Edward Rowbotham, a coal miner from the Midlands, volunteers for Kitchener's Army. Drafted into the newly-formed Machine Gun Corps, he is sent to fight in places whose names will forever be associated with mud and blood and sacrifice: Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele. He is one of the `lucky' ones, winning the Military Medal for bravery and surviving more than two-and-a-half years of the terrible slaughter that left nearly a million British soldiers dead by 1918 and wiped out all but six of his original company.

He wrote these memoirs fifty years later, but found his memories of life in the trenches had not diminished at all. The sights and sounds of battle, the excitement, the terror, the extraordinary comradeship, are all vividly described as if they had happened to him only yesterday. Likely to be one of the last first-hand accounts to come to light, Mud, Blood and Bullets offers a rare perspective of the First World War from an ordinary soldier's viewpoint.

EDWARD ROWBOTHAM was born in 1890, one of 14 children from a working class family in the Black Country. In 1915 he volunteered for Kitchener's Army, and was drafted into the newly-formed Machine Gun Corps and sent to the Western Front. He fought in many major battles - the Somme, Flers, Cambrai, Passchendaele. He survived a bullet wound to the temple, and won the Military Medal for bravery. JANET TUCKER is Edward Rowbotham's granddaughter. During the 90th anniversary celebrations of World War One she decided to edit and transcribe his memoirs for future generations.

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