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Drawing Fire: The Diary of a Great War Soldier and Artist - Len Smith

London: Collins, 2009, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and the top corners of the boards with commensurate wear to the dust wrapper. Text complete, clean and tight.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Facsimiles; Colour Drawings;

From the cover: “To the reader.

In reading this diary it will be well to remember that it has with definite reason not been embellished or altered in any way from the original scrawl in an old French notebook.

I preferred to retain a faithful copy of the diary as written on the spot — “the spot” being sometimes sordid, noisy, terrifying, wretched and utterly uncongenial to clear thought and orderly writing. And thus, tho’ it does not possess literary style, easy to read and understand. Yet I feel even in this very fact, it rings true and therein lies some claim to your kindly interest, as a faithful portrayal of the atmosphere which at that time prevailed.

It is a jotted down, rambling description of events day by day, strung together anyhow (as life was then) with no definite aim in view either to use or publish. Rather a mere pastime, just as one would take a hand at cards, or play the mouth-organ.

Remember too, there was always the persistent thought in the back of one’s mind — that it was all too foolish anyway — that no effort was very worthwhile, there might never be a “tomorrow". Therefore friend, take it as it is written, a simple narration of how that big war in our time, touched the life of one, Smithie in France.”


Size: 9½" x 6¼". Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 381 pages.
£10.50