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Drawing Fire The Diary of a Great War Soldier and Artist by Len Smith

Drawing Fire The Diary of a Great War Soldier and Artist


Drawing Fire The Diary of a Great War Soldier and Artist by Len Smith

A vivid and powerful diary of life in the trenchesThe horrors of war in the trenches are brought to life with a rare immediacy and power through the diary of soldier and artist Len Smith. Enduring battles such as those at Loos and Vimy Ridge, Len survives with a mixture of whimsical humour, bravery and sheer good luck.Len enlisted as an infantryman in the City of London Regiment on his 23rd birthday, 22 September 1914. During the war years he kept a journal on scraps of paper which he hid in his trousers to smuggle home at the end of the war. At the same time, he added to his thoughts with colour sketches of the people and places he encountered.


I wish I could have met him - a sniper's rifle in one hand and an artist's brush in the other. Christy Campbell

About the Author

Len Smith fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the First World War - at Loos and Vimy Ridge - before being drafted as an observer and becoming an accredited War Artist. After a severe bout of trench fever he was transferred to the Royal Engineers Special Branch where he worked on various camouflage devices.After the war he worked as a commercial artist, and died aged 83 in 1974. His nephew, David Mason, re-discovered the diary amongst family papers.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th April 2012


Len Smith

More books by Len Smith
Author 'Like for Like'


Collins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


384 pages


First World War
Diaries, letters & journals
Individual artists, art monographs
Drawing & drawings



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