Letters from the Front, by Julian F. Fane,
subtitled 'From letters sent to Lt-Col Fane during the 1914-18 War'
Book published by Barny, 72 pages. Paperback (N6534X1)
Lt-Col William Fane died in 1943 at the age of 75. He had fought in the Boar War with the Lincolnshire Regiment but was too old to take an active roll in the First World War. Instead, he trained the men that were due to go out to the Front. These are just some of the letters written by different men U-Col Fane trained. They tell of the conditions they had to endure and the appalling casualties suffered, yet still giving their feedback so that Lt-Col Fane could improve training for the next group of volunteers.From the rear side cover:
This interesting and eclectic collection of letters from the Western front of the first World War, the property of Mr Julian Fane of Fulbeck Manor in Lincolnshire, has recently come to light. They were written to Mr Fane's grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel William Fan of Fulbeck Hall, a veteran of the Boer War who was recalled to the Colours in 1914 to command the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment which was responsible (among other duties) for the basic training of recruits for the Lincolnshire Regiment at Weelsby Camp near Grimsby. Lt Col Fane, by now too old to be sent to the front himself, was a caring and benign officer who had a deep interest in the men he trained and asked many of them to keep in touch with him after they joined their units on active service. Mr Fane has sifted through a large number of letters and selected a number which give a vivid picture of many aspects of life at the sharp end. From the foreword:
The immediate reaction is the, by now familiar to us all, horror at the conditions under which they lived and fought (many within yards of the enemy) - the mud, the sweat and the toil: the daily threat of being attacked (and themselves attacking); of being shelled and gassed by day and by night; the physical demands of digging miles of trenches; marching mile upon mile day after day, frequently to no great effect; feeling, on occasions, a lack of leadership from on high.
And yet, under all those fears and privations, there comes a spirit of comradeship and camaraderie which is endemic in the British soldiery. A feeling of loyalty, trust and friendship at all levels that over comes the temporal wretchedness of constant danger and discomfort. Many letters are understandably emotional in reassuring their families and friends of their concern for each other. It is nothing less than astonishing that the fundamental qualities of that whole generation were able to sustain an amazingly high state of moral during four years of unspeakable slaughter.
The condition of the book is generally very good. The cover has one or two very minor scuffs but 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, both on the rear side cover.