The “61” was the 61st Heavy Artillery Group, mainly composed of ‘Derby Men’ – those who voluntarily registered for military duty ahead of conscription midway through the Great War. The 61st served in the Ploegsteert – “Plug street” – area south of the Ypres salient, before being shipped to the Macedonian front, – where malaria-bearing mosquitoes were as much a nuisance as the actual enemy – and then to Palestine where it took part in the battles for Gaza and the advance towards Jerusalem and Damascus. The author of the book was the 61st’s commander, and it is an idiosyncratic and very personal history, whose early chapters are concerned with Oswald’s garrison service in India and the development of artillery from 1880 to the outbreak of war.
61, HOW SOME WHEELS WENT ROUND
A unit history of the 61st Heavy Artillery Group in the Great War. The unit, — mainly composed of men enlisting under the ‘Derby Scheme’ midway through the war, – served at Ploegsteert Wood in Belgium; on the Macedonian front and in Palestine. The author was the 61st’s commander.