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Amazon Price: N/A (as of October 5, 2016 2:00 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Also available on amazon.com for N/A (as of September 2, 2017 7:50 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

1914. Europe had descended to war.

“…the firm lost no time in assuring us that we were not indispensable and we therefore went round to the Headquarters of the L.R.B. and craved permission to enlist…”

In November 1914 the London Rifle Brigade was among the first of the Territorial battalions to set foot in France; after completing his training, Aubrey Smith and the detachment from Q Company made their way to reinforce the battalion in the January of 1915.

Over the following years they were present at the Second Battle of Ypres, Gommecourt, the Somme, Arras, the Third Ypres and Cambrai, as well as facing the German offensive of 1918 and taking part in the final Allied advance.

Serving first in the trenches and then in the transport section, Smith’s wartime experiences offers readers a vivid insight into an oft overlooked yet crucial branch of the British Army and the daily perils they faced.

Originally published under the pseudonym of “a Rifleman” in 1922, “Four Years on the Western Front” is a classic private’s memoir from the First World War; conspicuously absent from Smith’s account however is his own awarding of the Military Medal in 1917, and subsequent Bar in 1918.

Aubrey Smith (1893-1935) served four years with the London Rifle Brigade. After the war he left Europe and moved to China where he became a prominent businessman as well as playing the piano in the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra. He died in Hong Kong at the age of 42.

Albion Press is an imprint of Endeavour Press, the UK's leading independent digital publisher. For more information on our titles please sign up to our newsletter at www.endeavourpress.com. Each week you will receive updates on free and discounted ebooks. Follow us on Twitter: @EndeavourPress and on Facebook via http://on.fb.me/1HweQV7. We are always interested in hearing from our readers. Endeavour Press believes that the future is now.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2111 KB
  • Print Length: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Albion Press (25 Jan. 2016)
  • Sold by:  Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01B38MBA4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

Very detailed, interesting

5 people found this helpful.
 on 12 June 2016
By John Benn
One of the most interesting accounts of WW1 experiences by an ordinary soldier that I have come across. It is long – in diary format – and very detailed. Aubrey Smith writes exceptionally well – though you have to overlook many typos. Here you have the all dangers, the fears, the tedium, the discomforts, the occasional concert parties, and quite often the humour of some situations. The relationships – both positive and negative – with local French people in towns and villages behind the lines is fresh to me.

Great writing useless proofreading.

 on 2 May 2016
By Edge 54
A brilliant witty compassionate account of the whole period on the western front by a foot soldier writing in the immediate aftermath. I got more understanding of the tactical and strategic factors affecting the ebb and flow of the conflict than any history I have read. Marred by a huge number of spelling mistakes reminiscent of the Grauniad.

Five Stars

One person found this helpful.
 on 12 May 2017
By P Paviour
A very informative book.

One of the Best

One person found this helpful.
 on 6 December 2016
By Anthony Farrar
One of the best WW1 books I have read.

Four Stars

 on 27 June 2017
By Phil W
Good read

Compelling reading

One person found this helpful.
 on 19 December 2013
By Ladyfox
A fascinating insight into the life of this soldier – his experiences on the front line and the futilety of war

Four years on the Western Front

11 people found this helpful.
 on 3 June 2012
By Del
For my husband, this book has filled in the parts of his knowledge with regard to his Regiment (The London Rifle Brigade’s) history, and therefore the story from a Rifleman serving with the Battaliopn two generations before himself. He loves to read and find for himself the traditions that still carry forward and the improvements made as a result of his time in service. He thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to everybody (his words).

A great story from a very brave man.

6 people found this helpful.
 on 12 April 2016
By Ken C
Really interesting account of World War One from the perspective of a private soldier, telling it how it really is (or was). It’s as if you are really there – not a century on. It seems like a lot of the stupid edicts passed down from (some) officers have been passed down to the present day, or at least they had when I was a soldier. It’s unbelievable what these brave men had to put up with, from food shortages whilst fighting in the trenches, to the nonsensical polishing of equipment that was continually wet & covered in mud & living in the rain without shelter. I found it especially interesting as a great uncle of mine (who I never knew) was in the same regiment & also won a DSM. From the description of the every day (& night) hell they went through I can almost imagine his life at that time. I was hoping he may have been mentioned but unfortunately not. My grandad was also in the artillery at the same time – I could almost place him in the battlefield just from the way the story is told. A really long book, but I’m really glad he wrote it & I read it.

A very different perspective.

5 people found this helpful.
 on 2 July 2016
By Duncan Cunningham
This books tells the story of a man who endured and more importantly, survived the entire war in “The Transport” – that all too essential side of the army who’s job it was to deliver the supplies to the men at the front. It is a long book, well written and full of fascinating day to day insights about ordinary life and death in a part of the army that has in many ways be overlooked by other works.
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