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A Soldier's Sketches Under Fire   By:

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A SOLDIER'S SKETCHES UNDER FIRE

[Illustration: PRIVATE HAROLD HARVEY. Frontispiece ]

A SOLDIER'S SKETCHES UNDER FIRE

By HAROLD HARVEY

[Illustration: SLM & Co. MDCCXCIV]

LONDON

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & CO., LTD.

FORENOTE

A title such as "A Soldier's Sketches Under Fire" indicates at once the nature, scope and limitations of this unpretentious volume of annotated drawings to which it has been given.

Faked pictures of the war are plentiful. Sketches taken on the spot they depict, sometimes by a hand that had momentarily laid down a rifle to take them, and always by a draughtsman who drew in overt or covert peril of his life, gain in verisimilitude what they must lose in elaboration or embellishment; are the richer in their realism by reason of the absence of the imaginary and the meretricious.

All that Mr. Harold Harvey drew he saw; but he saw much that he could not draw. All sorts of exploits of which pictures that brilliantly misrepresent them are easily concoctable were for him impossible subjects for illustration. As he puts it himself, very modestly:

"There were many happenings repulsions of sudden attacks, temporary retirements, charges, and things of that sort that would have made capital subjects, but of which my notebook holds no 'pictured presentment,' because I was taking part in them."

He also remarks:

"Sketched in circumstances that certainly had their own disadvantages as well as their special advantages, I present these drawings only for what they are."

Just because they are what they are they are of enduring interest and permanent value. They have the vividness of the actual, the convincing touch of the true.

Mr. Harvey was among the very first to obey the call of "King and Country," tarrying only, I believe, to finish his afterwards popular poster of "A Pair of Silk Stockings" for the Criterion production. To join the Colours as a private soldier, he left his colours as an artist, throwing up an established and hardly won position in the world of his profession, into which sent home shot and poisoned he must now fight his way back. His ante war experiences of sojourn and travel in India, South and East Africa, South America, Egypt and the Mediterranean should again stand him in good stead, for the more an artist has learned the more comprehensive his treasury of impressions and recollections; the more he has seen the more he can show. To Mr. Harvey's studies of Egyptian life, character and customs was undoubtedly attributable the success of his "Market Scene in Cairo," exhibited in the Royal Academy of 1909. Purchased by a French connoisseur, this picture brought its painter several special commissions.

I venture to express the opinion that the simple, direct and soldierly style in which Mr. Harold Harvey has written the notes that accompany his illustrations will be appreciated. His reticence as regards his own doings, the casual nature of his references where they could not be avoided to his personal share in great achievements, manifest a spirit of self effacement that is characteristic of the men of the army in which he fought; men whose like the world has never known.

ROBERT OVERTON.

TO

=LADY ANGELA FORBES=

WHOSE WORK FOR SOLDIERS IN FRANCE AND AT HOME HAS BEEN AS UNTIRING AS IT HAS BEEN UNOSTENTATIOUS.

CONTENTS

FORENOTE

=ON THE WAY TO THE FRONT.=

Chapter

I. FROM SOUTHAMPTON TO MALTA

II. FROM MALTA TO MARSEILLES

III. FROM MARSEILLES TO ARMENTIÈRES

=AT THE FRONT.=

Chapter

IV. SOME SAMPLE EXCITEMENTS OF LIFE IN THE TRENCHES

V. THE LIGHTER SIDE OF TRENCH LIFE

VI. THE "MAKE" OF A BRITISH TRENCH

VII. THE RUSE OF A GERMAN SNIPER

VIII. THREE DEATH TRAPS

IX. GERMAN BEASTS IN A FRENCH CONVENT

X. ANOTHER SCENE OF BOCHE BRUTALITY

XI. THE TRICK THAT DIDN'T TRICK US

XII. THE BARRED ROAD TO CALAIS

SKETCHES

PRIVATE HAROLD HARVEY Frontispiece

ABOARD THE TRANSPORT

BIVOUAC AT MALTA

CASEMENT GARDENS, MALTA

SERGEANTS' MESS

ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT, MALTA

ON THE QUAYHEAD AT MARSEILLES

QUAYSIDE, MARSEILLES

FORTY PASSENGERS IN EACH CATTLE TRUCK

A WASH AND A WAIT

"DOOMSDAY BOOK": A FRENCH LESSON IN A CATTLE TRUCK

LADY ANGELA FORBES'S SOLDIERS' HOME AT ETAPLES

ROAD TO THE TRENCHES

MY SKETCH BOOK

MAP: LA BASSÉE ST... Continue reading book >>




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