Bullets & Billets

Bullets & Billets by Bruce Bairnsfather

Bullets & Billets by Bruce Bairnsfather

A front-line view of life in the trenches of the Western Front in the early part of 1914-1915. Told by Lieutenant (later Captain) Bruce Bairnsfather, cartoonist, whose Alf, Bert, and Old Bill were forerunners to Bill Mauldin and his Willie and Joe in World War II. This volume traces Bairnsfather’s service as a machine gun officer from its inception until he was removed from the battlefield by the intense shelling during the Second Battle of Ypres (April 1915). It is told with a wry, ironic, grim humor often possessed by those who have endured shells, bullets, floods, mud, bully beef, maconochie, and a surfeit of plum and apple jam. His participation in the unofficial Christmas Truce of 1914 (for which he was investigated in view of a court-martial) is documented as well as the horrors of war at close quarters.

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