I have been continuing my research into the Anderson Family Tree over recent weeks, a few bits n pieces at a time. I have been concentrating on the enigma and perhaps a bit of a family mystery, however ever so slowly I am getting to the bottom of William Anderson.
To help me understand what it may have been like for some one to enlist, then be selected/transfer/drafted into the Machine Gun Corps back in 1915/16. William as I have previously stated was in the 13th Battalion RIR, however with his motor cycle background he ended up in the Motor Machine Gun Corps until he was gassed by the Germans in France in 1917.
I recently blogged about the Time Team Channel 4 TV programme about the base and training ground for the Machine Gun Corps at Grantham in England, so in order to learn a little more I have bought this book to read over Christmas to further familiarise myself with what life may have been like for William.
Details below - Lookin forward to the read!
It is 1915 and the Great War has been raging for a year, when Edward Rowbotham, a coal miner from the Midlands, volunteers for Kitchener's Army. Drafted into the newly-formed Machine Gun Corps, he is sent to fight in places whose names will forever be associated with mud and blood and sacrifice: Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele.
He is one of the 'lucky' ones, winning the Military Medal for bravery and surviving more than two-and-a-half years of the terrible slaughter that left nearly a million British soldiers dead by 1918 and wiped out all but six of his original company. He wrote these memoirs fifty years later, but found his memories of life in the trenches had not diminished at all.
The sights and sounds of battle, the excitement, the terror, the extraordinary comradeship, are all vividly described as if they had happened to him only yesterday. Likely to be one of the last first-hand accounts to come to light, Mud, Blood and Bullets offers a rare perspective of the First World War from an ordinary soldier's viewpoint