Gun Fodder.London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1930 Stock Code: 135906
First edition, first impression, of this "grim and intensely realistic picture of the war as seen through the eyes of a typical British 'tommy'" (jacket blurb). John Francis Snook (1897-1970) was born in Limehouse and worked in a factory in the East End before enlisting in 1914, aged 17. He served with the Essex Regiment throughout the war, seeing action at Loos, Ypres, and the Somme. In 1917 he received the DCM and was promoted to lance-corporal in charge of a Lewis gun section; after Arras and Cambrai he ended the war as a sergeant. The blurb states that after the war Snook became known as an "active political worker and a passionate anti-war propagandist and organiser". In 1927 he published To Hell with War! (as J. Snook) originally put out by the National Committee for the Declaration of Ex-Servicemen Against War (Library Hub cite this under "Snooks"). In his Foreword, Snook acknowledges the assistance of the popular novelist George Goodchild ("for his kindly and valuable advice in preparing this book for the press") and the illustrator Michael Boland ("for his encouragement"); the latter went on to illustrate the first edition of Geoffrey Trease's left-wing reworking of the Robin Hood legend in Bows Against the Barons (1934). Copies in the striking dust jacket designed by Dorothy Burroughes, showing the devil prodding automata-like Tommies toward the mouth of an enormous gun, are uncommon.
Octavo. Original salmon pink cloth, spine and front cover lettered in black. With the dust jacket designed by Dorothy Burroughes.
Jacket spine toned, a few nicks, chips and small tears, spine of binding cocked, touch of foxing to edges of book block. An excellent copy, clean, sound and sharp-cornered.
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