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Soldier's war diary sells for £6600 at auction

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Dec 2006 7:53    Onderwerp: Soldier's war diary sells for £6600 at auction Reageer met quote

Soldier's war diary sells for £6600 at auction
HAZEL MOLLISON

A DIARY kept by a young Edinburgh-born soldier in the trenches during the First World War has sold at auction for £6600.

Private James "Jimmy" Nicol Beatson of the Ninth Battalion, the Royal Scots, wrote the diary aged 24, before dying in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. His niece recently discovered the 149-page document during a search of her attic.
Living.scotsman.com MPU

The diary was bought by a private collector at Sotheby's, in London, for more than twice the expected sum.

Private Beatson wanted to create a record of his ordeal in the trenches for his sweetheart, bakery assistant Caroline Wright.

He kept the diary between February and December 1915, the month he married Ms Wright while home on leave.

The document offers an insight into the life of an ordinary soldier during some of the worst days of the 1914-1918 conflict. He describes in detail the terrors of battle and life in the waterlogged trenches in Ypres, Belgium, as well as the hardships suffered by the lower ranks.

The diary describes his crawl through the skeleton of a French soldier and combating rats that had gorged on corpses.

http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1825862006
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Dec 2006 7:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

En zo werd het aangekondigd:
DIARY OF HELL IN THE TRENCHES
By Mark Mcgivern

A SCOTS soldier's heart-rending diary of the hell he suffered in World War I is due to be sold at auction today.

Jimmy Beatson, who served with the Royal Scots, recorded his experiences in the trenches during 1915.

Months later, he was killed in the carnage of the Battle of the Somme.

Jimmy, of Edinburgh, was inspired to begin writing after finding the lost diary of a German officer in a waterlogged trench.

He came to regard the author, called Heinrich, as a friend, and addressed many of his own diary entries to him.

Jimmy wrote: "Are you dead Heinrich? Fate has labelled you a Prussian and me British, but I would do a long pilgrimage to lay flowers on the grave that holds your body."

In another entry, describing the scene of the second battle of Ypres, Jimmy wrote: "The ground is full of dead bodies of rats... the fellows had some furious fun at night baiting the rats. There is a plague of the repulsive vermin... slow, fat, waddling monsters."

He added: "Field mice made a nest in a German mess tin, crawling in and out the rents a bullet has made... little solitary graves with wooden crosses... alone face to face, in a little hollow... in one grave 77 French soldiers, beside it, 78 Germans in a grave half the size."

Jimmy went on to tell how he was caught up in some of the first poison gas attacks of the war. He described "stink bombs, bursting and sickening us with poisonous fumes and inflaming our eyes".

Later, Jimmy relived a surprise attack on his unit by the Germans. He wrote: "On Saturday night we left our trenches and moved off. Before we left the wood a burst of rapid fire ripped through the trees and accounted for a few. Our corporal was hit in the groin.

"We saw the hideous ruins, the result of the last bombardment. Words haven't been coined to describe the desolation."

Away from the fighting, Jimmy wrote with black humour about the misery of everyday life in the trenches. In one entry, he recalled: "A man nearby had the toothache... you lanced his gum with a borrowed knife but it did not stop the pain. His head was blown off this morning..."

Jimmy wrote the 149-page diary in a government-issue notebook between February and December 1915.

He was killed on the Somme on July 24, 1916. His diary was returned to Scotland after his death and discovered recently in his niece's attic.

The diary is expected to fetch £3000 at auction in London. Sotheby's manuscript specialist Dr Gabriel Heaton said: "It is one of the most moving documents I have seen - a powerful and emotive witness to one of the darkest episodes in European military history."

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_headline=diary-of-hell-in-the-trenches&method=full&objectid=18223028&siteid=66633-name_page.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Dec 2006 11:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Zijn die gasten daar helemaal op hun kop gestekt? 6600 pond voor een oorlogsdagboek? Ik moet hier dringend de mijne eens aanbieden daar...
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