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Lot 825 - 10 Apr 2018

April Interiors Auction

WORLD WAR 1 - Western Front, manuscript combat diary possibly written by an Officer of the Third Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, covering August 1914 - June 1915, when the Battalion (as part of the 9th Infantry Brigade) were engaged at Neuve Chapelle & the 1st Battle of Ypres.. 93 closely written pages of diary entries (in black ink) & 69pp. of copies of his letters home (in red ink). * the diary commences on 10th August with entrainment at Newcastle-On Tyne for Southampton, with later embarkation on board SS. Minneapolis, arriving St. Nazaire 24/9/14. The Battalion in action at Pernes, Bes Plomeran, Herlies, Petre, Bailleul (Neuve Chapelle) & Hooge, Hermitage Chateau, Kemmel, Rosendaal Chateau (1st Battle of Ypres); a most detailed daily account of harrowing trench life warfare which include his comrades being killed in front of him, endless mud & rain, informative notes on other units in the Brigade etc., yet elements of humour shine through - 'billeted at Rosendaal Chateau, whole place shelled to pieces . . . had very fine Louis XV chairs to sit in & lovely china . . . a strange contrast!'; & on the Front Line - ' in one place they have a sort of understanding, and show their heads over the top . . . and when the Germans get word from their gunners our trenches are going to be shelled, they sign over to us, and the Brits do the same. General HQ would be pretty sick if they knew this. Illustrated

Condition report

contemp. roan-backed cloth, small med. octavo, spine somewhat worn, internally v. good - probably written in billets when the Battalion was standing down; pasted to the front e/ps. part of a letter (6.3.15) & lettered beneath 'To Mrs. Ainslie from Col. Ainslie 1915', it may possibly be that the diarist was related to the Colonel (who commanded the 1st Batt. of the Regt. at the beginning of the Great War)

Estimate £400 - £600
Sold For £2,600