The date is August 1914. The British Expeditionary Force is in France and You're in the Royal Field Artillery. You're riding alongside one of the battery's gun limbers on its way to the assigned position on the east side of Mons, Belgium. This begins your journey into the Hell they called World War One. To purchase this historical memoir go to https://createspace.com/3649268

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I received the first two reviews on my new book, "World War 1 - An Unkept Promise" now available on Kindle.

This is a very important book, containing a historical document which throws a new light on the events of 1914 and 1915. The book is essentially in three parts: the journal of Frederick Coxen (the author's grandfather and namesake), an explanation of the events taking place as the journal was written and the author's quest to find the relatives of his grandfather's friends.

The journal is important for two reasons. It details the work of the men who kept the lines of communication open to direct bombardments at a time when the war had not yet settled into trench warfare. This is unusual if not unique. Additionally it touches on an important historical controversy - that of the crucified soldier. There has been debate about whether or not the Germans crucified a soldier. Frederick Coxen was an eye-witness to the retaliation the Canadians took - crucifying a German and pinning a notice to him saying "Canada does not forget." It seems to me unreasonable that such an action would take place without some provocation. For this reason alone, students of the period should read this book or, indeed, the diary itself, which the author intends to present to the Imperial War Museum in London.

The quest for the relatives of Coxen's dead friends is also worth reading if only to show how difficult it is to find information even today. We had a similar experience looking for my father-in-law who received his fatal wound at Dunkirk and died from it over twenty years later. The Middlesex Regiment has no record of him although we have all his badges, buttons and medals. The author did very well to find out as much as he did.

This is a book for serious historians and also for those who want to know more about this period of history or to work through the bureaucracy of searching any database for relatives.


Although I do like to watch war movies, I had never read a war story, fact or fiction. I read this one because a friend said I would like it. I'm glad I read the book because I liked it immensely.

First, let me just say this book would make an excellent basis for a movie.

It was amazing to see action through Fred's eyes. What was even more amazing was how Fred maintained a lighthearted attitude while shells and bullets were flying all about. It is much different to hear someone explain what's happening in his own words as it happens, rather than many years later through memory. It almost makes you feel as though you're right there with him. I would love to watch a movie based on the journal.

The author did an excellent job in filling in details to give context to the journal entries. Knowing what happened, why it happened and how many casualties for the battles Fred talks about makes it even more amazing that he was able to not only remain cool and collected but was able to write down what happened in his journal.

For war buff and historians, this book provides many first hand details which you don't see very often.

Abbie (Milford, PA USA) 

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