Wills War – a Somerset infantrymans experiences 1913-19

World War 1
ISBN 9781-84683-176-8
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by Jeanette Upshall
An Evercreech lad’s experiences with the Somerset Light Infantry in India & Mesopotamia 1913-19

Hailing from the Somerset village of Evercreech, William Upshall was one of the millions of ordinary English lads who volunteered to join the army in World War I but was fortunate indeed to be spared the horrors of the Western front when his regiment, the Somerset Light Infantry was sent to Mesopotamia via India and the Andaman Islands, thus offering him an opportunity for world travel that would never have come his way under any other circumstances.

His observations of what he saw on his travels paint a vivid picture of that part of the world as it was over a hundred years ago seen through the eyes of an unworldly Somerset village lad abroad for the first time.

WILL’S WAR IS a true story based on facts, dates and place names I discovered in an old diary kept by my grandfather, William Upshall, passed on via his son Eric Upshall (my father) and transcribed by me some 80 years later.

The diary describes the life of Will and his close family in the village of Evercreech in Somerset and then Will’s experiences during the Great War of 1914-18.

At 16 years of age Bill makes a brave decision to lie about his age in order to enlist in the Army and joins the Somerset Light Infantry.

When the Great War breaks out, he finds himself in a completely unfamiliar world but somehow manages to toughen-up and become a soldier. When his Regiment receives orders to travel to India, he volunteers to go and faces a long and difficult journey to what will seem a very strange land to a country boy from Somerset.
Bill is a quiet lad with an innocent way about him but he sees humour in the strangest of circumstances and has a very thoughtful nature, making him a compelling narrator.

He describes his travels through India, the Andaman Islands and finally finds himself in Mesopotamia.
In total he spends five long years away from home before returning to the familiar surroundings of Evercreech when the war finally ends.

His observations provide a fascinating personal view of the world during this eventful period of history.

details softback | 140 x 205 mm | 244 pages | text plus photos
genre biography / social history
themes World War One | family life | Somerset | India | Iraq