Gun Fire (Number 17), edited by A.J. Peacock

Gun Fire (Number 17), edited by A.J. Peacock

Gun Fire (Number 17), edited by A.J. Peacock

A5 size booklet, 61 pages. (N6356X2)

Gun Fire was an occasional journal produced by members of the Western Front Association, and usually it contained articles about aspects of the First World War. This edition is slightly different, in that 48 of the 61 pages are taken up with one mans personal diary in which he records a day by day account of life in the trenches on the western front. (The remainder of the booklet is taken up by a review and notes and queries).

From the first inside page: Robert Stainton Fieldsend was born on 23rd November 1891, at South Farm, Stainton-Ie-Vale, into an old established Lincolnshire farming family. He was educated at Woodhall Spa preparatory school and Forest School, and on leaving there began farming. Before the outbreak of the Great War he had been an active part-time soldier. taking a commission in the 5th Lincolnshire Territorial Regiment. serving with the Louth and Barton on Humber companies.

Fieldsend Saw active service on the Western Front from the beginning of March 1915 until late in the same year when he was seriously wounded - losing an eye. He recovered and remained in the Army as Adjutant of the Humberside Garrison Musketry School until the end of hostilities. After demobilisation he went back into farming and played an active part in local and national organisations until his death in November 1971.

A handwritten account of Captain Fieldsend's war experiences was found amongst his personal papers, and an edited version of it appears below. It is reproduced with the kind permission of his family and was brought to the attention of Gun Fire by Brian Ainsworth of Hull. Captain Fieldsend was the owner of a camera which he used during his stint on the Western Front and some of his photographs, with the captions he gave them, are also reproduced. Brian Ainsworth prepared these for publication; Captain Fieldsend's spelling has not been altered; the maps which are reproduced were with Captain Fieldsend's papers.

Fieldsend began his account of his war with a 'Preface' wherein he said that, 'This is a true & unexaggerated account of my doings wbile on active service with the 1I5th Battalion Regt. 138th (Lincoln & Leicester) Brigade, 46th (North Midland) Division. (T.F.)' General Stuart Wortley, he recorded, was in charge 'of the Division & Brig. General Clifford in charge of our Brigade.' The OC of 'our Battalion' was Lt Col T.E. Sandall, the Adjutant was Capt V de Houghton and the officers of C Company were Capts Wilson and Hadfield and Lts Riggall, Nicholls and himself.

Interestingly, an earlier edition of the journal explained the origins of the slang phrase 'Gun Fire', detailing how it was a term for the early cup of tea served out to troops in the morning before going on first parade. In the War recruits in training always had Gun Fire supplied to them, as the work before breakfast was often particularly gruelling.

Condition of the booklet is generally very good. The cover has one or two minor scuffs but is clean and bright, the staple spine is intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. Their is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.

Condition New