Fallen on the Somme

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Fallen on the Somme

Postby kerchi » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:13 pm

Book details:Title: Fallen on the Somme, The War Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Harold Harding Linzell M.C., 7th Border Regiment.
Edited by: M. A. Argyle
Year published: 1981
ISBN: 0 950791105
No. of pages: 54
Dairy dates: 1/01/1916 to 30/06/1916There were 1000 copied printed and so this is now quite a rare book. I bought this for £5 :cheer: from AbeBooks.co.uk, a more than fair price for such a find. When I received this a few weeks back I didn't get round to reading it until one day at work in my lunch break. It was then I decided to browse a few pages. After a minute or so I was hooked and turned to the beginning to start it from the first entry, Saturday 1st January, 1916.It took me in and after reading it I was keen to learn more about this officer of the 7th Battalion Border Regiment. I would tend to agree with Argyle's view that in no way is it unique, although a document of this sort was unlikely to have been approved by the military censor...it does not contain any profound thoughts on the nature of the war. Much of what he recorded is pedestrian and even banal, conveying little of the shock and horror with which others viewed their similar experience.He also mentions that it bears little relation to other well-known 'volumes' of memoirs of writers and poets from Linzell's generation, but this, to me, is what makes this stand out from the others. It might not be unique but it is certainly interesting to read Linzell's words and try and get an understanding of life in the trenches, time at home, times when he felt like "nothing on earth" and times on drills and parades and, of course, fighting. He does convey his feelings at times but most of the time his writing is quite emotionless and tells us simply 'as it is'. The letters at the back are also quite touching to read.Has anyone else read this and if so, what did you think?
In memory of John Bardgett (15309 L/Cpl.), 11th Border Regiment who died 1st July 1916.

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Re:Fallen on the Somme

Postby spike » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:06 am

I read this a couple of years ago, on loan from the Cumbria Library. What struck me was the quite "stiff upper lippedness" of the entries,sometimes he may as well have been describing a shopping list.
I think that was a little seen aspect of this conflict,the Victorian/Edwardian gentleman taking everything in his stride
,the officer not allowing himself emotion.
I suspect this helped many a man cope with the war a lot better than is often portrayed...
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In memory of -19455 Private John Farrer,
A Company 11th Border Regiment k.i.a. 1st July 1916
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Re:Fallen on the Somme

Postby kerchi » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:36 pm

I would tend to agree with you about that Spike; many officers (in general) didn't want to show their men any emotion because this would have shown a sense of weakness, this which can be discussed on so many levels, and the men relied on the strength of their officers to pull them through, this you already know.

My take on things, and this is not singled out to Linzell or any other specific officer, are that if an officer was strong and portrayed a man of stern duty, stiff upper lipedness and honour then this would have been considered normal, or in many cases what was expected of him, but I believe that normal didn't exist, not in that way as what was considered normal to one person would be different to someone else, particularly, for example, in times of decision making on the front line under heavy fire. Normal, would have been more like someone who was not always afraid to show he was scared and afraid of what might happen to him and his men, especially when they had seen so many horrors in many different forms.

The often harsh realities of being an officer and the stresses that come with being in such a position, particularly to send men to their deaths and to not show emotion was something I can never fully understand as I will never be in that situation. This is too great a subject for me to discuss and I am sure there are many people out there who have a far greater understanding of this but I believe that there are many officers who dealt with situations in variety of different ways, sometimes good, sometimes not so good and even hardened officers who had seen and done many things in their time were prone to showing emotion from time to time as is everyone else because it is human nature to, which is what makes us individual in the first place.

Without getting too heavy (or boring for that matter), Linzell, in his gentlemanly way, by reading his words, was a man who didn't seem to show too much emotion but it strikes me that he, like many others I am sure, were not afraid to show fear or break down slightly away from his men, something that was needed as a form of temporary release before getting back to 'normal' again, whatever normal really means.
In memory of John Bardgett (15309 L/Cpl.), 11th Border Regiment who died 1st July 1916.

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Re: Fallen on the Somme

Postby kerchi » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:51 pm

I was just wondering how I could go about obtaining permission to transcribe Linzell's words from the above publication when previous attempts to contact the publisher failed because the number I managed to find turned out to be a private residence, not a publishing company. How do you contact a company so they can inform the writer/editor of a book that someone wishes to ask for permission to use or transcribe it for a public space such as forum?

Paul, this is where I need your advice on the subject. The book was published in 1981 and obviously the editor (M. A. Argyle) has written parts of it such as the introduction, editor's notes and footnotes relating to some of Linzell's diary comments, but surely Linzell's words themselves must be out of copyright? Yes? Even if Argyle compiled the book, 95% of which are Linzell's words, can the entire book be copyrighted, which states "No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, in any form etc., etc.," when most of the text is now out of copyright?

Your expert knowledge is needed on this matter as I would like to transcribe Linzell's words for everyone to enjoy.
In memory of John Bardgett (15309 L/Cpl.), 11th Border Regiment who died 1st July 1916.

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