The author was the younger brother of Philip Gibbs, the well-known war correspondent and himself the author of a number of books on the Great War, particularly the Somme. He writes the introduction to this book.Gibbs enlisted in the cavalry on 2 Sep 1914 and was posted to the 9th Lancers in which he served,as a trooper, till the end of 1914. The first part of the book describes his service in the ranks which included a month with the regiment in France, during which time he did not see action. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery on 31st December 1914 and returned to the UK to learn the arts of gunnery. Although he does not identify the unit and division to which he was posted, references to embarking for overseas in June 1915 at Avonmouth clearly identify the 13th (Western) Division. And the fact that he describes disembarking at Alexandria while the rest of the division went on to Gallipoli, points to either the 67th or 68th Brigade RFA. These units remained in Egypt till October 1915 when they sailed for Salonika to join the 10th (Irish )Division. After a year’s campaigning he was medically evacuated back to the UK. All this part of his service is described in Part II of the book. The third and last part takes up more than half the book and covers the Western Front where the author arrived in May 1917. This is where the action really starts. Gibbs was in an Army Field Artillery (AFA) Brigade, formations created in early 1917 to provide Army Commanders with additional artillery support, and they in turn allocated them to Corps for specific operations. Artillery memoirs are usually those of divisional artillery so Gibbs’ account is of extra interest and it is full of action, especially during the German offensive. This is a vividly described experience of one who was coming to the end of his tether as the war drew to a close. Two doses of gas brought his war to an end shortly before the armistice, during the advance to victory
GUN FODDER A DIARY OF FOUR YEARS OF WAR
Memoirs of an officer, brother of the war correspondent, Philip Gibbs, who enlisted as a trooper in 9th Lancers, was commissioned into the Royal Artillery at the end of 1914, then served in Salonika and on the Western front.