Meet At Dawn Unarmed : Captain Robert Hamilton's Account of Trench Warfare
The Diary of Captain Robert Hamilton
On August 5th 1914, Robert Hamilton left his young family behind in Devon to start a momentous six month journey through France and Belgium with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
In his diary, he recorded his experiences on the Front Line which included:
The famous Christmas Truce in which he played a prominent part
The humour, comradeship and loyalty of fellow soldiers in the face of constant danger
The rain, mud and discomforts of life in the trenches
The daily fight for survival and the constant danger from shelling and sniping
Life behind the lines- the billets, estaminets and local hospitality
Extracts from his wife Renie’s diary highlight the fears and anxieties of loved ones awaiting news from the Front.
After he left the Western Front in 1915, his diary chronicles the ‘battles’ he fought with Conscientious Objectors and ‘Red Tape’ as Commandant of the Hereford Military Detention Barracks.
Robert’s grandson Andrew Hamilton and Great War enthusiast Alan Reed have complemented the diaries with an informative commentary. They have used a wide range of contemporary evidence, including the cartoons of Robert’s famous friend Bruce Bairnsfather, and a variety of original photographs. They have also recreated important episodes in his life, including a fascinating reconstruction of the Christmas Truce between the Warwicks and the Saxons in No Man’s Land.
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