Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Book Review: A Motorcycle Courier in the Great War: The Illustrated Edition

A Motorcycle Courier in the Great War - The Illustrated EditionA Motorcycle Courier in the Great War - The Illustrated Edition by W.H.L. Watson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is gripping account of the dispatch riders who delivered messages just behind the lines during World War One. Lots of good English stiff-upper-lipness and casual drinks under fire. The period covers the earliest battles such as Mons and the Aisne, and ends with first Ypres. This makes it especially valuable to WWI buffs since there aren't as many good books about the opening months of the war as there are for later periods.
This illustrated edition has some fine photographs of the early battlegrounds as well as the couriers and their machines.
I wish there had been some more info about the motorcycles. Like many enthusiasts, the author seems to assume that everyone knows as much as he does! It also assumes knowledge about the war itself, since the book was cobbled together from Watson's diary and letters home.
This book won't be of much value to someone just getting into reading about WWI, but anyone with a firm grasp of the early phase of the war will find this a quick, enjoyable read.

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Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've watched the show American Pickers often enough to have developed an interest in older bikes, so shame there isn't more information on them in the book.

Sean McLachlan said...

Yeah, I read it specifically because I have a motorcycle courier in my Trench Raiders series and wanted some info about the bikes. Oh well.

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