Down South, in the Valley of the Somme, far from the spots recorded in this book, I began to write this story. In billets it was. I strolled across the old farmyard and into the wood beyond. Sitting by a gurgling little stream, I began, with the aid of a tebook and a pencil, to record the joys and sorrows of my first six months in France. I do t claim any unique quality for these experiences. Many thousands have had the same. I have merely, by request, made a record of my times out there, in the way that they appeared to me. This book is part of the World War One Centenary series; creating, collating and reprinting new and old works of poetry, fiction, autobiography and analysis. The series forms a commemorative tribute to mark the passing of one of the world's bloodiest wars, offering new perspectives on this tragic yet fascinating period of human history. Each publication also includes brand new introductory essays and a timeline to help the reader place the work in its historical context.