John Seymour Lindsay sent over 50 postcards and 70 sketches to his girlfriend and later wife, Mildred Ethel Williams, between 1902 and the outbreak of the Great War. Lindsay spent some of his holidays during those years, hiking and sketching old buildings in the hamlets and villages of Southern England. The book gives details of his early life, his tramping holidays with family and friends and then a chronological record of his sketches and watercolours.
John Seymour Lindsay was Pippa's (the author's wife) grandfather who survived 16 months on the Front Line and sent back hundreds of letters.
The book charts his journey through France and Belgium, the hell of the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Gommecourt on the Somme, his return to England for recuperation at Osborne House, Isle of Wight.
The Letters deal with the story of John Seymour Lindsay volunteering to join the London Rifle Brigade, training in London during the autumn of 1914, the journey down to Southampton and the embarkation for France. He then vividly describes the shock of a winter spent under canvas, more training and the journey up to the Front LIne at Ploegsteert. His Letters give a moving description of the Second Battle of Ypres, the death of his best friend in his arms and his removal to hospital. He describes his recuperation, quick marriage in London, and the award of his DCM for conspicuous gallantry. He then returns to his Brigade, receives a number of promotions, and transfers to the Somme to participate in the Battle of Gommecourt where he is injured once again. His final letters are from the Isle of Wight.
This book is the unique history of one man's war. His captivating story is told through letters to his wife and brother from the trenches, hospitals and training camps. He survived the horrors of the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Gommecourt on The Somme. He was gassed, his best friend died in his arms and he saw many of his brother soldiers die in the mud and water. He was decorated for conspicuous gallantry, promoted to officer in the field, invalided back to 'Blighty', and became a trench warfare instructor in the Pioneer School Reading and at Blackdown Camp.