What motivates a diarist is often a mystery, but in the case of this book the author, Alexander Stewart, is at least honest about his reasons for re-visiting his wartime diary. In leaving a record for his family's amusement and knowledge, he has provided an invaluable account of the day to day experience within an infantry battalion [albeit an officer's experience].
The diary entries are interesting, but it's the additional comments made post war which hold the reader and the most for the reader. Descriptions of trench routine, training, leave and attacks all benefit from looking back, echoing Charles Carrington's "Soldier from the wars returning" Stewart gives an untarnished account of his experiences and thoughts on the war.
Content to admit when memory fails, the author confines himself to the natural boundaries of the regimental officer, rarely commenting on events or people outside of his battalion and brigade. With a engaging, and often humerous, style it is a pleasure to journey with Stewart through his war, until its premature end when..