Turner Donovan Military Books - The world’s finest selection of rare and out-of-print books on British military history from 1800 to 1945
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SHORT (Capt. Walter, BA) Pictures from France. 1st Ed., xv+117pp., 19x13cm, 2 portraits, photo. of memorial. Manchester: Sherratt & Hughes. 1919  #58151
[HLMainPic] Walter Short was born in Sheffield in 1879. He began a business career in the Goods Department of the Midland Railway Company. His religious zeal was embraced in Methodism and he joined the Upper Chapel at Sheffield, becoming a lay preacher. Ultimately this led to his admission to the Unitarian Home Missionary College in Manchester; he graduated B.A. at Manchester University and became Minister of the Unitarian Church at Stalybridge in 1909. He married the same year and a son was born in 1910. In 1912 he moved to the Unitarian Free Church at Bootle. In November 1915 he joined the Inns of Court O.T.C. and precisely one year later received a commission in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He served in France with the 7th (Service) Battalion from 17th January 1917, becoming Adjutant in August. This battalion was disbanded in February 1918 and Short was killed in action on 20th July that year (during the Champagne Offensive) as a Captain commanding "A" Company in the 5th (Service) Battalion. He was thirty-nine and lies in Courmas Military Cemetery. Contains a memoir and his letters "To the Congregation" at Bootle from his enlistment through to the time of his death in 1918. The letters include much interesting detail on his experiences on active service, followed by letters of condolence from his Commanding Officer and another officer of the Battalion (unidentified) "who buried Captain Short on the battlefield on July 20th, 1918" and who describes the manner of his passing: "As I was the last to see Captain Short alive I feel it is my bounden duty, painful though it is, to describe the situation. He was wounded in the left arm about 10 a.m. on the 20th inst by machine gun fire which swept the advance of our troops. This wound was bandaged but owing to the activities of the enemy it was impossible to have the wounded taken away. In trying to get back many were fired upon again and your dear husband was again hit on the left side… I stopped and spoke to him… Kneeling beside him he looked up and in a faint voice (with a heavenly smile on his handsome face) he said, 'I'm done for old boy. Give my love to —.' I pressed his hand in a last farewell. The sentence was never finished, but well was the meaning known… He is buried alongside another officer and men of the battalion in a cornfield near by a vineyard with beautiful woods on two sides and a picturesque French village on another. (I saw him buried myself)…" Orig. maroon cloth, gilt, VG. See illustration on our website.   £145


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