Young THE GRACE OF FORGETTING, Mount Athos YPRES Friends Ambulance 1914-18 ITALY

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Seller: dilapsus (6.684) 100%, Location: Flamborough, Bridlington, Ships to: Americas, Europe, Asia, AU, Item: 123329858131 The Grace of Forgetting by Geoffrey Winthrop Young This is the 1953 First Edition '"Tis only the setting of sorrow that lets us live on; the grace of forgetting all else but the joy that is gone; in the scenes we remember from weeks and from years that are by, the mists of December gleam gold with the sun of July." During the First World War, Young was at first a Correspondent for the liberal Daily News, but later, as a conscientious objector, was active in the Friends' Ambulance Unit. He received several decorations, but on 31 August 1917 an explosion caused injuries requiring the amputation of one of his legs. After the amputation, Young walked sixteen miles in two days to avoid being captured by the Austrians. He continued alpine climbing for a number of years – using a specially designed artificial leg that accepted a number of attachments for snow and rock work – and climbed the Matterhorn in 1928. Front cover and spine Further images of this book are shown below Publisher and place of publication Dimensions in inches (to the nearest quarter-inch) London: Country Life Limited 5½ inches wide x 8¾ inches tall Edition Length 1953 First Edition 352 pages Condition of covers Internal condition Original paper-covered boards blocked in black. The covers are rubbed but still fairly bright, having been protected by the dust-jacket. There is a small patch of fading on the front bottom edge, corresponding to the tear in the dust-jacket, and another faded patch at the tail of the spine, for the same reason. The head of the spine is snagged with a small tear in the outer paper covering. The spine ends and corners are bumped. There are no internal markings and the text is clean throughout on slightly tanned paper. The edge of the text block is dust-stained and lightly foxed and there is some separation between the inner gatherings. There is light toning and foxing to those pages adjacent to the photographic plates. Dust-jacket present? Other comments Yes: however, the dust-jacket is grubby, scuffed and discoloured and is creased and torn around the edges. There are a number of tears along the edges of the front and rear panels, the worst being one near the head of the spine on the front panel, and another near the tail of the spine, also on the front panel (the latter having been folded back at some stage, which has resulted in the patch of fading to the covers mentioned above. There are also a number of smaller tears on the rear panel, though nothing as prominent. The bottom corners of BOTH inner flaps have been removed (please see the final image below). Overall, a clean example of the First Edition, but in a grubby, chipped and torn dust-jacket. Illustrations, maps, etc Contents Please see below for details Please see below for details Post & shipping information Payment options The packed weight is approximately 900 grams. Full shipping/postage information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing. Payment options : UK buyers: cheque (in GBP), debit card, credit card (Visa, MasterCard but not Amex), PayPal International buyers: credit card (Visa, MasterCard but not Amex), PayPal Full payment information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing. The Grace of Forgetting Contents I On Our Thames II Mount Athos III Easter Journey IV 'Sunlight, and in Spring' V War Correspondent VI The Custodians of Ypres VII Ypres: the Death of the City VIII On the Italian Front IX Caporetto and After Index Illustrations PHOTOGRAPHS Geoffrey Winthrop Young Formosa Place First canoe descent of the river Tarn, in southern France Sailing the 'Kelpie' with Conor O'Brien Geoffrey Winthrop Young: Formosa; Cambridge; War Correspondent; Between the Wars Hilton (Lord Kennet of the Dene) Georis (Sir George Young, 4th Bart) The Golden Horn from Galata bridge as it was under the Sultans The monastery of Simopetra on Mount Athos The centenarian Abbot and sub-Abbot of Simopetra The monastery of Vatopedi on the northern coast The monastery on Patmos On the roofs of Patmos monastery Patmos: the Cave of St John The 'noble Roman triple gateway' of Nicaea Charles Camiel Delaere Soeur Marguerite of Ypres In the early days of the bombardment of Ypres: the author with the Cure The first ward for the wounded of Ypres, in the Sacre Coeur asylum The author and Herbert Dyne with the Skat Ypres: Cathedral, Cloth-hall, and the underground river Yperle revealed by a shell-hole The Rue de Lille and ruined tower of the Cloth-hall King Victor Emmanuel visiting the ambulance station at Quisca on the Isonzo river front Setting out on the Plava run in our armoured car Gorizia: ambulances rushing the bridge under shell-fire Return journey across the tottering bridge The bridge collapses The Gorizia bridges over the Isonzo at the close of the battle The night-drivers' bedroom in Gorizia, struck by a shell early in 1917 LINE ILLUSTRATIONS A 'Collins' from Formosa Two of the newsbills printed by the Daily News, 1914 Plan of Ypres, 1915 Christmas letter of thanks from the Committee of Public Safety in the cellars of Ypres The Isonzo Front The Grace of Forgetting Excerpt: . . . less obstinate unfortunates out of the cellars into the black streets of winter, and then found they had forgotten to bring transport for them. They had then stopped a couple of my ambulances returning from carrying military wounded for the French army, and had commandeered them to carry the shivering crowd. Happily the boys kept their heads. They discovered they were quite 'out of petrol', and so there was nothing to do but to run them into the Sacre Coeur, and leave them for me to deal with. I sent them off to their home cellars, and the officials, politely, back to La Panne. The next afternoon I saw a curious happening. Standing waiting for my car outside the Sacre Coeur I was seeing—and not seeing—a tall factory chimney opposite me above the Kruisstraat roofs. Shells were coming over, much as usual. Suddenly a clean-cut hole, like a piece bitten out, showed half way up in the side of the chimney. Half of the bulk of bricks was gone, soundlessly, and blue sky in its place. For quite a minute nothing happened, and I stared. Then a cloud of upward dust, the top folded over and the whole chimney dissipated upon air and vanished down behind the roofs. The fighting increased along the lines. Our drivers at their dispersed French aid-posts were running continuously. There was rivalry as to the number of wounded they carried. Poperinghe, some miles behind us, where Dr Rees now had an ambulance section which he had housed upon the stage of a small theatre, had the advantage of very short runs to the railway, more quickly performed. So the ingenious with us invented the 'kilo-blessage' scale, by which the number of kilometres covered was reckoned in with the number of wounded carried. The Sacre Coeur was again shelled; more of it made uninhabitable, and a quick temporary evacuation of wounded enforced. The cars began to show the strain of the vile winter roads, especially the light touring cars in which Philip Baker and I, at different ends of our growing web of activities, covered long distances each day. I started from Woesten on one morning for Dunkirk, driven by Professor Pigou, the economist and mountaineer, in his Ford. We skidded on the pave, and charged the first of a long column of French heavy guns, with some damage to our radiator. The car recoiled steaming indignantly, took heart, skidded, and charged again, this time head-on into the second moving and more elephantine gun. Even the Ford then gave up the contest, laying its nose down flat upon the road, and spreading out its wings and shrugging up its wheels, beetle-like, well above its bonnet, in a deprecating attitude I never saw another car repeat. I changed to the Panhard, it broke down; to a Siddeley, it overturned. I borrowed another car at Furnes, it punctured all round. It sounds unlikely, but I reached Dunkirk in the fifth of the cars I rode in, on that one rush to base. It used to give me a peculiar pleasure, on the battering return drives up into the darkness and war-clamour over Ypres, to pass a small estaminet with its signboard in large peaceful letters—'Harmonie chez Amaloot Prosper'— the sound of the words alone was soothing. Beyond the Menin gate, and all but in the French line, where every house was a wreck or a battery cover, and where his own house had lost all its front rooms, old M. Vanderghote held out, with all that were left of his family. Two of his sons had been killed with the Belgian army, and two were prisoners. As commissary and engineer, for forty-five years he had been in charge of all the steeples of Ypres and the neighbourhood. A typical burgher of the Flemish middle ages, a grey-bearded Hercules, he once assured me that of all the types of projectiles which had hit his house, not excluding the seventeen-inchers, the only one he really disliked was shrapnel; it was unaccountable and all over the place. When the Germans entered he buried all his carts and machinery under heaps of stones and brick. When they threatened him with revolvers, he offered them long cigars. General Gough had used his house later as HQ. He now absolutely refused to leave, or to allow his wife and younger children to go off into any of the countries fighting across his homeland. His small children became one of my cares; and every Sunday I carried them off to Woes ten, to rest their nerves and bring some colour to their cheeks. At Christmas they stayed there at our station for some cheerful days. In the end he let me keep them at Woesten until we could find a safer home for them which he would accept. He himself gave practical help to our work in the town; but with outbursts of passionate indignation at all our armies and nations whenever we met at committee meetings in the ruins. I saw him last, in bowed age, as he left the ruins of his house, finally blown up by the RE for a battery position. He had refused to let me transport him in the cars with the last few to leave the town; and he was pushing a hand-cart through the stone-heaps that had once been streets, laden with his last belongings, while the tears slowly trickled down his beard. We picked him up then, with his goods, and he flung the hand-cart aside with a despairing gesture: 'They should never have let it come to this—come to this, George Barbour, our impeccable secretary, planner, map-maker and emergency man, the first of the Unit whom I had come to know in camp at Jordans, with his typewriter never far from under his hand, was also a musician. On the great and beautifully toned organ still standing in the wrecked cathedral of St Martin's, with its deserted aisles, its central roof gone, and most of its fine woodwork except the organ consumed, he had played me 'Adeste Fideles!' It had been a moving sound, challenging the long trembling echoes and the destruction about us. Once again Dr Smerdon played it for me, and this was for the last time. The high walls and arches were crumbling; the rustling of falls of stones and rubble answered mysteriously to the daring swell of the great organ. Even the hollow echoes seemed to quiver with the vibrations of the shaken walls, and I watched the broken-edged openings in the roof anxiously, as the music thundered for the last time along the shattered vaulting and out on to the grey skies. Two days later the organ too had perished, under new bombardment. On a sunny clear day I had gone out, with a couple of my helpers, at the Lille gate, to look at the moat. It was when we were first considering how to renew and purify the water supply. There was rather heavy firing ahead, and shells were travelling several ways at once across the open ground beyond. We stood and talked on the bridge-way in the sun. I saw two figures, in British uniform and the scarlet of the Staff, running towards us, and then drop into a dignified walk. To my joyful amazement the tall younger man, as he came near, resolved into the handsome glowing face of Marcus Beresford Hey-wood, my sometime pupil, my comrade in the Alps, and whose best man I had lately been: a man who walked with sunshine all his days. The second figure I knew at once, General Plumer, commanding the Fifth Corps and later the Second Army, and who was, I had heard, about to take over our area in place of the French. Marcus and I seemed always fated to cross each other's unusual paths in life, and if ever we wrote, our letters almost always crossed. Both men were a little breathless and heated. I was introduced. 'Good Heavens!', it was something like that the General said, 'to see you fellows lounging there, and we've been running like rabbits!' Marcus, who had come out as Plumer's GSO3, explained in an explosive aside that they'd been out prospecting, had been caught in a sustained cross-fire, had sat down and lunched, and then, as it persisted, had fairly taken to their heels and run for the Lille gate. It was like home, to find Marcus again coming up in support; someone with whom I could really talk things out; and I often used the chance. As winter closed down, the freezing mud of the ill-made trenches became terrible; and frozen or trench feet one of our worst enemies. My ambulances picked up a small squad of Kings Royal Rifles literally crawling over the fields. They were brown cold blocks of freezing mud up to their caps; so cold they could not speak, and their rifles and every inch of them inches deep under congealed slimy mud-cake. I had never seen men so utterly done in. They were newly from India, they had ague, they had frozen feet, they had been standing for four days waist-deep in icy mud. Only one of them, the youngest, could use his legs; the rest could only crawl. These mud-clay trenches that winter, which the French passed on to us south of Ypres, were beyond description horrible. I heard a little later at Gassel that when Moreton Griffiths brought up his labour corps of clay-diggers to try and clear a section of them—this was before the day of bulldozers—the men went on strike: they would not dig any longer through the bodies buried by, or in, the fathomless quick-mud. But English humour was imperishable. It was a strayed lieutenant, whom we were thawing out of his glacial mud with stove and soup, who told me first of the 'International' trench, of which each side held half, and of the German voice over the barrier: 'Is der anyone from Birmingham? I haf left a wife and seven childern in Birmingham.' To which the inevitable wit: 'Put yer ruddy head up and there'll be a widder and seven ruddy orfins in Birmingham!' About Christmas time, those wounded or strayed officers who came in on us were talking of the singular 'compact' and the football match much written about later, when on sections of trench near us both sides agreed for almost a week to a cease-fire, while they cleared the dead out of the wire in no-man's-land. A cousin, John Kennedy of the Cameronians, who looked in on me told me of the embarrassing little tragedy when a German patrol came out briskly and too confidently into the open, without having ascertained that there was a new company in the British trench opposite. Two men fired on the patrol, and a German was killed: 'Of course,' said the young lieutenant reporting the mishap to him, 'of course I apologised. But still! . . .' The civic administration of Ypres had withdrawn to Poperinghe. Vitalised by the Cure and by the leading freemason of the town, M. Stoffel, a black-bearded man of character and ability, a Committee of Public Safety had formed itself in the cellars, including a police commissary, the secretary of the hospices, the one little doctor who held on, and a few more sturdy burghers. They took over the policing, the fire extinguishing, the burying, the street clearance and general supervision—whenever the bombardment permitted. To these men and their measures I gave all the help we could command. With the Cure abetting, I drove back to Poperinghe, and obtained the civic authorisation to placard the town myself with the notices of our sanitary and health measures. These I got printed by the sisters and brother Callewaert, the young son and daughters of the printer, who with cheery courage held out in their ruined printing-house, and worked the press in a shed in the back-yard. They even issued an occasional Tpres News, a siege leaflet. All my flaring notices, green, scarlet, yellow, of all sizes, I still preserve, and they are rare specimens of the local printing of the time. From the gallant Committee in the subterranean world I received on Chris tmas Day a letter of thanks for our work, signed with all their names; and I treasure it as a unique document and as a signal honour. We celebrated the season by a dinner at Woesten. And by another later at the Sacre Coeur; when I entertained the group of highhearted volunteer drivers who were running a fever car-service behind us at Steenvoorde, among them Mr Somerset Maugham and Reggie de Havilland, formerly my senior colleague at Eton and the famous rowing coach with the eagle eye and the drooping moustache. He was already elderly, but he and his colleagues held those vile slippery pave roads with their small ambulances in all weathers that winter, with immense spirit. We dined in one of my unused Sacre Coeur rooms, with all the windows broken and the star-shells lighting up the sky outside. Even on that day an occasional rifle flurry rattled out of the night, and sighed in on the cold gusts. The sturdy sisters had made great dinner preparations. During the festive evening the number of nuns in the building was found to be increased by one, a giant sister in a coif, betrayed by his singing voice as Dr Smerdon; and the sterling, erect Soeur Anna, taking the privilege allowed on the Misrule day when the youngest sister acts as Reverend Mother, strode in in an officer's tunic, and brandishing a well-smoked cigarette. My men at the front had been for some time suffering from the forerunner of the great epidemic, some form of enteritis. I gave them an extra hour's sleep in the mornings, and it had some effect . . . The Grace of Forgetting From the dust-jacket: Mr Winthrop Young is best-known as a mountaineer: one of the pioneers of rock-climbing in Britain, and a climber who has shown thousands the way to the conquest and enjoyment of the world's mountains. He has recorded much of his experience and his adventures in books which are among the classics of their kind. This book is different. It is a venture for Mr Winthrop Young into new country— into autobiography of those years of a wonderfully active and creative life in which mountains were not the dominant theme, or when, under the compulsion of great events, mountains were denied him. These are chapters of experience which begin with golden days of childhood and youth in an islanded home on the river Thames under Cliveden woods, and which end in Italy, the first World War over, in the brief illusory promise of a brave new world that should be the creation and justification of so great a weight of suffering. Through them, the author's narrative runs with the flash and momentum of a mountain stream. First the swift, adventurous journeys in young manhood to Mount Athos, to Asiatic Turkey, among islands of the Aegean, to the Pyrenees and America: followed by the grace of one year before the war writing in an old monastic rest-house on Monte Fiano, high above Florence. Then the war, in which the author began, characteristically, as a free-wandering (and for the time, famous) war correspondent, probing the German advance, and acting as his own courier to London. It was soon over, for shortly Mr Young was engaged in the great work and profoundest experience of his life: the formation of the Friends' Ambulance Unit and, for him, its part in the heroic story of the destruction of Ypres and the rescue of its children, its citizens and its treasures. The story has never been told before: at least, not by an Englishman who lived through the whole siege, in control, until the last building lay in ruins. And it is a story which needed its historian for, though many cities have burned since then, what was done and endured in Ypres by a handful of devoted men and women is as splendid a demonstration of the incorruptibility of human spirit in adversity as our times afford. The book closes with an equally fine account of the part played by the British Ambulance Unit in Italy on the Isonzo river front, and, through the disaster of Caporetto, to the 'broad bright day' of victory whose gleam so swiftly faded. An age has closed. A pattern of English life — bold in design, rich in texture, and sure in its execution — has been completed. Mr Young's book thus takes shape as a memorial to an England, and a Europe, that at the noonday of their strength spent it all — or almost all — in four years of war. Perhaps it has never been better done. Certainly the book is superbly fashioned; page after memorable page of it written with a blending of grace and vitality that is nowadays hard to seek. It will not soon be forgotten. GEOFFREY WINTHROP YOUNG was born in 1876, the son of Sir George Young, 3rd Baronet. Cambridge Chancellor's medallist, athlete, assistant master at Eton, one of the original body of H.M. Inspectors of Secondary Schools, consultant for Europe in the Humanities to the Rockefeller foundation, Reader in Comparative Education at the University of London, president of the Alpine Club and of the Outward Bound Mountain School, and one of the founders of the Outward Bound Movement, education and mountaineering have been the chief interests of his life. In both fields he has been a pioneer and an adventurer. His published works include a collected edition of his Poems, On High Hills, Mountains with a Difference, and Mountain Craft. Please note: to avoid opening the book out, with the risk of damaging the spine, some of the pages were slightly raised on the inner edge when being scanned, which has resulted in some blurring to the text and a shadow on the inside edge of the final images. Colour reproduction is shown as accurately as possible but please be aware that some colours are difficult to scan and may result in a slight variation from the colour shown below to the actual colour. In line with eBay guidelines on picture sizes, some of the illustrations may be shown enlarged for greater detail and clarity. U.K. buyers: To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-mailer). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the postage figure. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from postage and packaging. Postage can be combined for multiple purchases. Packed weight of this item : approximately 900 grams Postage and payment options to U.K. addresses: Details of the various postage options can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above). Payment can be made by: debit card, credit card (Visa or MasterCard, but not Amex), cheque (payable to "G Miller", please), or PayPal. Please contact me with name, address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item. Finally, this should be an enjoyable experience for both the buyer and seller and I hope you will find me very easy to deal with. If you have a question or query about any aspect (postage, payment, delivery options and so on), please do not hesitate to contact me. International buyers: To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-mailer). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the shipping figure. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from shipping and handling. Shipping can usually be combined for multiple purchases (to a maximum of 5 kilograms in any one parcel with the exception of Canada, where the limit is 2 kilograms). Packed weight of this item : approximately 900 grams International Shipping options: Details of the postage options to various countries (via Air Mail) can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above) and then selecting your country of residence from the drop-down list. For destinations not shown or other requirements, please contact me before buying. Due to the extreme length of time now taken for deliveries, surface mail is no longer a viable option and I am unable to offer it even in the case of heavy items. I am afraid that I cannot make any exceptions to this rule. Payment options for international buyers: Payment can be made by: credit card (Visa or MasterCard, but not Amex) or PayPal. I can also accept a cheque in GBP [British Pounds Sterling] but only if drawn on a major British bank. Regretfully, due to extremely high conversion charges, I CANNOT accept foreign currency : all payments must be made in GBP [British Pounds Sterling]. This can be accomplished easily using a credit card, which I am able to accept as I have a separate, well-established business, or PayPal. Please contact me with your name and address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item. Finally, this should be an enjoyable experience for both the buyer and seller and I hope you will find me very easy to deal with. If you have a question or query about any aspect (shipping, payment, delivery options and so on), please do not hesitate to contact me. Prospective international buyers should ensure that they are able to provide credit card details or pay by PayPal within 7 days from the end of the auction (or inform me that they will be sending a cheque in GBP drawn on a major British bank). Thank you. (please note that the book shown is for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of this auction) Book dimensions are given in inches, to the nearest quarter-inch, in the format width x height. Please note that, to differentiate them from soft-covers and paperbacks, modern hardbacks are still invariably described as being ‘cloth’ when they are, in fact, predominantly bound in paper-covered boards pressed to resemble cloth. Fine Books for Fine Minds I value your custom (and my feedback rating) but I am also a bibliophile : I want books to arrive in the same condition in which they were dispatched. For this reason, all books are securely wrapped in tissue and a protective covering and are then posted in a cardboard container. If any book is significantly not as described, I will offer a full refund. Unless the size of the book precludes this, hardback books with a dust-jacket are usually provided with a clear film protective cover, while hardback books without a dust-jacket are usually provided with a rigid clear cover. The Royal Mail, in my experience, offers an excellent service, but things can occasionally go wrong. However, I believe it is my responsibility to guarantee delivery. If any book is lost or damaged in transit, I will offer a full refund. Thank you for looking. Please also view my other listings for a range of interesting books and feel free to contact me if you require any additional information Design and content © Geoffrey Miller Condition: A detailed description of this item's current condition is given in the listing below but please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information., Non-Fiction Subject: History & Military, Year Printed: 1953, Binding: Hardback, Author: Geoffrey Winthrop Young, Language: English, Publisher: Country Life Limited, Place of Publication: London, Special Attributes: 1st Edition

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