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One Young Man The simple and true story of a clerk who enlisted in 1914, who fought on the western front for nearly two years, was severely wounded at the battle of the Somme, and is now on his way back to his desk.   By: (1876-1927)

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One Young Man, written by J. E. Hodder-Williams, is a captivating and poignant memoir that brings to life the harrowing experiences of a clerk turned soldier during World War I. Without trivializing the horrors of war or indulging in unnecessary melodrama, the author masterfully tells the simple and true story of an ordinary young man thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

The book begins by introducing the protagonist, a humble clerk who willingly enlists in 1914, swept away by the fervor and patriotic zeal that shaped the era. As readers journey alongside this young man, we witness his transformation from an eager, naive recruit to a battle-hardened soldier. Hodder-Williams expertly paints the nuances of his protagonist's emotional journey, highlighting the internal conflict between loyalty to his country and the unbearable weight of witnessing the atrocities of war.

The narrative takes readers through the gripping events that unfold on the western front, offering a raw and unfiltered account of the bleak realities soldiers faced daily. From the relentless trench warfare to the heart-wrenching loss of comrades, every page reveals the unforgiving nature of war. The author's attention to detail and vivid descriptions expose the reader to the physical and psychological toll inflicted upon soldiers, leaving a lasting impact.

At the Battle of the Somme, the protagonist sustains a severe injury that forever changes the trajectory of his life. The author's ability to convey the pain and suffering endured by the young man is not only compassionate but also deeply moving. We witness his struggle to find purpose and meaning amidst the shattered remnants of his former existence, as he navigates his way back to civilian life and his desk job.

Hodder-Williams' writing style is simple yet eloquent, allowing the reader to connect deeply with the protagonist's journey. Throughout the book, a sense of authenticity permeates every word, reminding us of the thousands of untold stories and sacrifices made by men like this young clerk-turned-soldier.

One Young Man serves as a powerful reminder of the realities and consequences of war, urging us to reflect on the human cost of conflict. Captivating from beginning to end, this memoir immerses readers in a world marred by violence and loss, but ultimately reaffirms the resilience of the human spirit. J. E. Hodder-Williams has created a remarkable tribute to the men who served during World War I, ensuring that their stories will not be forgotten.

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Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive: Canadian Libraries. See


Published in 1917 by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.

The simple and true story of a clerk who enlisted in 1914, who fought on the Western Front for nearly two years, was severely wounded at the Battle of the Somme, and is now on his way back to his desk

Edited by


Author of "The Life of Sir George Williams."

Printed for private circulation Printed in Great Britain by C. F. Roworth Ltd., 88 Fetter Lane, London, E.C.4








I am glad that this very personal little book is to be re published, if only for private circulation, for it rings as true to day as it did yesterday.

It tells the story of one young man in the Great War, but, in fact, it reveals no less the personality of the writer who knit the young man's story together.

The young man continues the writer has passed on.

My brother is revealed here, not as the famous publisher, but as a man whose sympathy was so quick and passionate that he literally lived the suffering and trials of others... Continue reading book >>

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