Corkys War - The Diary of an RAMC Stretcher Bearer 1915-1919, by Ronald Fairfax
Published by Mutiny Press, 264 pages. Paperback (N5242)
This book tells the story of First World War stretcher bearer Percy "Corky" Cawkwell, and is a story of heroism and sacrifice, and of valour and bravery - Percy faced some of the most ferocious fighting seen on the Western Front during the war, and was one of the brave few who went over the top on the Somme to recover wounded comrades during brief ceasefires with the Germans.
From the introduction: I first knew Percy Cawkwell in 1973. Percy replied to a letter of mine the Hull Daily Mail published. In it I asked readers for their memories of The First World War (My grandfather had served in the local regiment, The East Yorks, and I wanted to contact any veterans who might have served with him. Percy was one of the men who got in touch, not as an East Yorks veteran but as an ex- Royal Anny Medical Corps Stretcher Bearer.
Corky, as he liked to be known as, had recorded his memories in a series of diaries that he had kept in the field and written up in 1921. As a result of this contact I got to know Corky very well and be became a friend of the family. Over time I had many conversations with him and I kept a detailed record of most of them.
Before he died he made me a present of his diaries and I promised him that I would try to get them into print. I approached a number of publishers but the view expressed was that the entries were not detailed enough.
When in 1989 I took early retirement from further education I spent time working as a World War One Battlefield Tour Guide, and my work in this area persuaded me that Corky's story could be told in print if I took his diary and augmented it with his experiences and those of his comrades in arms.
The result is, I think, an authentic picture in words of what life was like for a soldier in the Great War. I'm fairly sure that Corky would have approved but in the end it is for the reader to judge...
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The cover is clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is an old price printed and a small price sticker on the rear side cover.