Triumph on the Western Front: Diary of a Despatch Rider 1915-1919

Triumph on the Western Front: Diary of a Despatch Rider 1915-1919


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One of the many under-appreciated despatch riders of his day, Oswald Harcourt-Davis (1882-1962) joined the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1916. He spent the majority of the war racing his Triumph motorcycle around the Somme and Ypres Salient areas, delivering urgent messages and writing whenever he could spare the time. A poet and novelist, Harcourt-Davis also wrote prolifically for the Daily Mail, the Times, Punch, Country Life, and the Birmingham Post. His greatest legacy, however, arguably is this posthumously published diary.
With Triumph on the Western Front, Harcourt-Davis’s great-nephew brings us the first—and only—diary of a World War I despatch rider. Each entry takes the reader further through his entire war journey, from recruitment in 1915 to demobilization in 1919. Sure to delight, this diary will interest military history lovers, World War I aficionados, or anyone curious about the wild lives of the wartime despatch riders. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781908487568
Publisher: Firestep
Publication date: 06/15/2016
Pages: 440
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Philip Holdway-Davis is the great-nephew of Oswald Harcourt-Davis. He has served with the Honourable Artillery Company, Royal Engineers, and Royal Green Jackets.

Table of Contents

Through England in War Time
The Diaries of Oswald Hardcourt Davis
Other Works of Oswald Hardcourt Davis
                Army pigeons how they work (reproduction of article published in 1916)
                Examples of Oswald’s original submissions to the Press Bureau
                                War Time Estaminets
                                Getting Knocked
                                Digging Defence Lines
                                The Gates of Leave
                                Cant About Khaki
End Notes

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