Some Desperate Glory - The Diary of a Young Officer, 1917, Edwin Campion Vaughan

Some Desperate Glory - The Diary of a Young Officer, 1917, Edwin Campion Vaughan

This diary covers the period from January to August 1917, from its author's arrival in France for the first time to his participation in the Third Battle of Ypres in August of the same year. Edward Campion Vaughan was a very young and inexperienced officer at the start of this period, and was quite willing to admit that in his diary.

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this diary is the sudden shift in mood towards the end. Until then life on the front line has been uncomfortable and often dangerously, but not deadly. As we approach the end of the period covered this begins to change, as Vaughan is swept up in the Third Battle of Ypres, and the end is achingly sad, as the author and his unit become involved in one of the most disastrous attacks in this notoriously disastrous battle.

This change in the nature of Vaughan's service means that we get to see two different aspects of life in the trenches, and can compare the mood in the comparatively quiet times, where the weather and living conditions seem to be the biggest threat, with that during major battles. We also get to know the men in his company, making their eventual fate all the more dreadful.

Vaughan also pays an unusual amount of attention to the men under his command, giving us a really good idea of the relationship between the junior officers and their men, something that is often missing in Great War diaries. Overall this is one of the more interesting books of its type.

Author: Edwin Campion Vaughan
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 232
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010 edition, first published 1981, written 1917

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