Soldier featured in trench warfare book
A SOLDIER from Comet country who took part in a World War I battle is featured in a book which comes out at the end of the month.
Author Paul Kendall’s third book – Aisne 1914: The Dawn of Trench Warfare – includes details about Private William Chapman, who was born in Weston in 1894 and worked at Dacre Motor Car in Letchworth GC.
“Chapman’s role and the 2nd Grenadier Guards defence of the farm at Cour de Soupir is significant, because if it had fallen, then German forces would have clear observation of the Aisne valley from these heights, where they could have pushed the British forces off the Chemin de Dames and south back across the Aisne,” said Paul.
“It is a story of courage and endurance and details how the war of movement during the 1914 campaign came to a grinding halt when both sides were unable to breach each other’s lines due to heavy artillery and machine guns.
“As a consequence both sides dug trenches and it was here at the Aisne that the Western Front which stretched across Europe was started and the descent into trench warfare began.
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“The book provides a narrative of events, details about the cemeteries and memorials related to the battle, then and now photos, the photos and biographies of some of the soldiers who took part in this awful battle which claimed the lives of approximately 13,500 men.
“It is hard to believe that as we approach the 100th anniversary of the battle no book has been written about this turning point in World War I.”
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The book, published by The History Press, will be available on Amazon and other retailers by the end of May.