Sapper Martin

Edited by Richard Van Emden

The secret Great War diary of Jack Martin. In 1916, at the age of thirty one, Admiralty clerk Albert John (‘Jack’) Martin was called into the British Army. Throughout his service with the Royal Engineers (Sappers), he wrote in secret because men at the front were forbidden to keep diaries. When he returned home Jack told no one about them. Bundled up in the attic, they remained undiscovered until his grandson came across them in 1999. These diaries, present the First World War with heartbreaking clarity, and are all the more extraordinary given that it is not an officer’s voice but that of a private. From his arrival in France and his participation in the Somme, through offensives at Ypres and eventual demobilisation after the Armistice, we see wartime life as it really was for the ordinary Tommy. Jack’s diaries are introduced and edited by First World War historian Richard van Emden. Hard cover, 272 pages.