Carmarthen Pals: A History of the 15th (Service) Battalion The Welsh Regiment, 1914-1919, Steven John

Carmarthen Pals: A History of the 15th (Service) Battalion The Welsh Regiment, 1914-1919, Steven John

The 15th (Service Battalion), the Welsh Regiment, or the Carmarthen Pals, was one of the New Army battalions raised in Britain once it became clear that the First World War was going to last for longer and require a much bigger army than almost anyone had expected in the summer of 1914. This book looks at the history of that battalion from its original formation late in 1914, through some of the most famous battles of the war (including the Somme, Passchendaele and the hundred days offensive 1918) and ending when the battalion was dissolved in 1919.

Perhaps this books defining feature is that the author has taken the time to research the stories of a large number of the dead, so rather instead of the anonymous totals presented in many books here we often have a potted biography of at least some of each day's dead.

This book makes one realise just how costly the final victorious campaigns of 1918 were. A single action on 8 October 1918 cost the battalion 53 dead, nearly 10% of the 570 dead suffered by the 15th Welsh during the entire war, and twice as many men died during 1918 as during 1916, when the battalion was involved in the battle of the Somme!

The appendices nicely round off the book, including complete lists of the battalion's dead, medal winners (with citations where possible), and officers (with brief biographies).

This is an impressive sobering read, which stands as a memorial to the men of the 15th Welsh and the sacrifices they made during the Great War. 

Chapters
Raising the Battalion
Western Front: The Nursery Sector
Somme: Mametz Wood
Withdrawal from Mametz Wood and the move North
First Large Scale Trench Raid
Passchendaele: The Build up
Passchendaele: The Pilckem Ridge
Passchendaele: Langemarck
Return to French Flanders
Return to the Somme
The Great Advance: The Battle of Albert
The Great Advance: The Battle of Bapaume
Advance to Victory

Appendices
Casualties of the 15th Welsh
Roll of Honour
Awards to the Battalion
Nominal Roll of Officers
Battle Honours
Order of Battle, 38th (Welsh) Division
Summary

Author: Steven John
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2009


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