Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915–18

The Diary of Sergeant Albert Simpkin MM

Date Published :
July 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Editor :
David Venner
Illustration :
16 pages of black and white plates
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526748454
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock
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Sergeant Albert Simpkin MM’s Great War diary is of unusual scope and exceptional interest. Albert was a First World War motorcycle dispatch rider attached to the Headquarters 37th Division throughout the war which he was so fortunate to survive. His wide-ranging role enabled him to witness much more than his fellow men who were restricted to the trenches. One day he would be dodging shell holes and ammunition limbers to take his dispatches to the front, the next commenting on the quaint but often courageous lives of the local populace.

As a result his diary entries, and some longer descriptions of the main actions of the Division, provide a graphic record of the war on the Western Front; Fortunately Albert was a gifted observer of the scene and a fluent writer. The fact he was awarded the Military Medal is testimony to his bravery. Throughout the diary are colorful and amusing anecdotes about his fellow soldiers, and critical comments on the strategies and tactics employed by the officers.

Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915–18 offers a unique opportunity for readers to immerse themselves in a well written and objective firsthand account of life and death on the Western Front.

About The Author

The Diarist - Albert Edward Simpkin - was born near Manchester in 1885. After leaving school he worked at Crossley Brothers, manufacturers of marine engines, as an apprentice engineer. Albert joined the Army in December 1914 and saw continuous service on the Western Front until demobilisation in early 1919. He was awarded the Military Medal. Post war he returned to Crossley Brothers and set up their Argentine operation branch.The Editor - A family history advisor in North Devon, where he also practices rural crafts. He has written two works, The Venners of Somerset and Devon (1980) and Information for a Rural Community (1986 British Library).


"It is worth seeking out and reading and if you are a fan of Great War motorbikes and vehicles this is a must"

- War History Online

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