The Fusiliers Museum, Bury

I’d wanted to visit the Fusiliers Museum at Bury before I gave my Ted Hughes paper last month. This is because Ted’s father had served with the 1st/5th Lancashire Fusiliers at Gallipoli, and later in France. The regiment was based in Bury, which was William Hughes’s home town. I didn’t manage it then, but finally […]

Ted Hughes

I spent yesterday at the Ted Hughes conference in the smart Heritage Quay suite at Huddersfield University. I gave a paper titled ‘Ted Hughes and Gallipoli’, about his representations of his father’s war (William Hughes was on the peninsula with the 1st/5th Lancashire Fusiliers and, Hughes wrote, remained ‘undemobbed’, still troubled by his experiences for […]

Compton Mackenzie, disillusionment and Douglas Jerrold

Mostly,  Gallipoli Memories (1929) is a rather jolly memoir by someone who presents himself as hanging around the Staff with not very much useful work to do. It’s only towards the end that Mackenzie makes it clear that this is partially intended as a contribution to the opposition to the ‘disillusioned’ literature that had taken […]

Casualties

There’s a striking short exchange in Compton Mackenzie’s Gallipoli Memories (1929): Some time after this General Paris visited Army Corps Headquarters, and to him General Hunter- Weston spoke enthusiastically of some successful action on a portion of the front. “Many casualties?” asked General Paris in a voice that could not hide the bitterness he felt […]

Chaplains

On the University of Birmingham’s website there is an interesting essay by Michael Snape on the role and reputation of Army chaplains in the First World War. It attempts to defend them from the accusation of being distant and ineffectual figures who kept away from the front line. It is well worth reading and partly, […]

Ernest Raymond’s ‘The Quiet Shore’

Ernest Raymond’s novel of Gallipoli, Tell England was the great best-seller about the war in the early 1920s. It was reprinted fourteen times in 1922, and six times in 1923; by 1939 it had sold 300,000 copies, and subsequent editions stayed in print for forty years. Raymond returned to Gallipoli at least twice in later […]