Memoirs & Diaries - The Best 500 Cockney War Stories - Foreword

Foreword of "The Best 500 Cockney War Stories" Published in London in 1921, The Best 500 Cockney War Stories comprised, in the words of its newspaper publisher (The London Evening News) "a remembering and retelling of those war days when laughter sometimes saved men's reason".

The collection of short memoirs, some 500 in total, is divided into five categories - Action, Lull, Hospital, High Seas and Here and There.  This page contains the text of the collection's foreword, written by the newspaper publisher, The London Evening News.

Sections within the collection can be accessed using the sidebar to the right.

Editor's Foreword

In the remembering, and in the retelling, of those war days when laughter sometimes saved men's reason, Cockneys the world over have left to posterity a record of noble and imperishable achievement.

From the countless tales collected by the London Evening News these five hundred, many of them illustrated by the great war-time artist, Bert Thomas, have been chosen as a fitting climax and perpetuation.

Sir Ian Hamilton's story of another war shows that, however much methods of fighting may vary from generation to generation, there is no break in continuity of a great tradition, that the spirits of laughter and high adventure are immortal in the make-up of the British soldier.

Sir Ian's story is doubly fitting.  As President of the Metropolitan Area of the British Legion he is intimately concerned with the after-war welfare of just that Tommy Atkins who is immortalised in these pages.  In the second place, all profits from the sale of this book will be devoted to the cause which the Higher Command in every branch of the Services is fostering - the British Legion.

"Suicide Ditch" was a term used by British soldiers to refer to the front-line trench.

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Cockney War Stories