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Soldiers’ Stories of the War icon

Soldiers’ Stories of the War

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The description of Soldiers’ Stories of the War

Soldiers' Stories of the War, by Various

All the stories in this volume are told by men who were seen personally, and who, with one or two exceptions—cases of soldiers who had returned to the front—read the typescripts of their narratives, so that accuracy should be secured. The narrators spoke while the impressions of fighting and hardships and things seen were still strong and clear; in several cases full notes had been made or diaries kept, and reference to these records was of great value in preparing the stories. When seeing an informant I specially asked that a true tale should be told, and I believe that no unreliable details were knowingly given.

I have been fortunate in getting a good deal of exclusive matter—the full record of the noble achievement of L Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, for example, has not been given anywhere in such detail as is presented here, and the same remark applies to the story of the three torpedoed cruisers.

During the earlier periods of the war British soldiers told me tales of barbarities and outrages committed by German troops which were so terrible that it was impossible to believe them, and I omitted many of these details from the finished stories; but I know now, from reading the Report of the Committee on Alleged German Outrages, presided over by Viscount Bryce, formerly British Ambassador at Washington, that even the most dreadful of the statements did not do more than touch the fringe of the appalling truth.

Though much has been already published in the form of tales and letters from our soldiers at the front, yet I hope that this collection of stories will be accepted as a contribution from the British fighting man to the general history of the earlier stages of the war—those memorable preliminary operations which have made a deep and indelible impression on the British race throughout the world.

Walter Wood.
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