Memoirs & Diaries - The Best 500 Cockney War Stories - Introduction
Published in London in the early 1920s, The Best 500 Cockney War Stories comprised, in the words of its newspaper publisher (The London Evening News) "a remembering and retelling of those war days when laughter sometimes saved men's reason".
The tone of the collection was, as the above quote suggests, determinedly humorous, reporting the lighter side of the conflict as viewed by its Cockney (i.e. Londoners) participants. Even so, the grimness behind what was in reality a brutal and highly mechanised conflict cut through many of the memoirs.
The collection of short memoirs, some 500 in total, many illustrated by the famed Bert Thomas, is divided into five categories - Action, Lull, Hospital, High Seas and Here and There. Prefaced by an introduction by Sir Ian Hamilton, the British Commander-in-Chief who oversaw the Allies' unhappy campaign in Gallipoli, the stories can be accessed using the sidebar to the right.
A "Communication Trench" was a narrow trench constructed at an angle to a defensive trench to permit concealed access to the defensive trench.
- Did you know?