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To Fight Alongside Friends: The First World War Diaries of Charlie May Hardcover – July 3, 2014
'May proved to be a natural diarist, as wry as he was sharp-eyed' Daily Mail, Books of the Year 'What shines through like sunshine is Charlie May's default belief in service to country, his quiet commitment to others over self, and his sheer decency. You could bet your life on Charlie. And, in a way, we did' The Times 'Captain May's words offer a rare and vivid insight into life in the trenches: of rats and death, and the men's optimism as they prepared to go into battle. They also read as a moving love letter to the wife he adored and the little girl he couldn't wait to be reunited with' Daily Express 'Sensitive and bright ... May is a gifted storyteller and his uncensored diary makes for fine reading' Daily Mail '[We] want to hear the voices of those who were there, unencumbered by 21st century prejudices ... 'To Fight Alongside Friends' [is] the disarmingly jaunty, previously unpublished diaries of Captain Charlie May ... beautifully edited and minutely annotated' Sunday Times 'Reflective and acute ... By July 1st 1916, when the last diary entry was entered at 5.45am, the reader feels that they know Charlie May, and what follows comes as a shock, as if a cinema reel had broken in mid-reel ... [the diaries] linger in the memory [and] deserve to be made available to a wider audience. They testify to how the 1914 generation drew on literary expression to order and to mediate what is commonly supposed to have been an incommunicably dreadful experience' Financial Times 'Every so often one comes across a diary where it is the sense of personality behind it that lift it out of the ordinary: such a diary is that of Captain Charlie May' David Crane 'The diary of Captain Charlie May provides a fascinating insight into the mind of a young British officer. It is peppered with intriguing insights, acute observations and the hectic, heart-stopping flurries of nocturnal trench raids' Robin Cross, author of the bestselling 'VE-Day'
About the Author
Born in Dunedin, Charles Campbell May, is one of the most quoted New Zealand soldiers of World War I. He was killed in 'No Man's Land' on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916. Passages from his wartime diaries have been anthologised in books, academic and popular, about that war and that battle. His diaries, the originals of which are in the Regimental Archive near Manchester, have pride of place in the Imperial War Museum in London. Gerry Harrison is Charlie May's great-nephew. He has been an actor and worked in film and TV production and served as a councillor for twelve years. Meanwhile he has written pieces for the Guardian and The Times, and the Irish Times. He lives in Ireland.
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