“I feel one can say with some conviction that no man should willingly leave his home to fight, wound, maim or kill other men about whom he knows little and whom he certainly does not hate. When all men refuse to commit such follies the foundations of a true civilisation will have only just started to be laid.”
- Sam Sutcliffe, circa 1974 (extracted from his Memoir)

Book readings/speaking engagements - marking Remembrance Day…

Readings from Foot Soldier Sam Sutcliffe's Nobody Of Any Importance: A Foot Soldier's Memoir Of World War 1 given by his son, Phil

Forthcoming readings FIRST WORLD WAR DAY event organised by WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION LONDON EAST BRANCH Saturday, September 15, all day, multiple local readers, speakers, activities, exhibits, at St Mary's Church and Vestry House Museum, Walthamstow. Free. 

Phil will do two readings read from his father's Memoir – 12.50-1.05pm and 2.10-2.25pm in St Mary's Church, 8 Church End, E17 9RJ, map http://ow.ly/JLeH30lFTzm (five minutes walk from either Walthamstow Central tube or Wood Street railway station). He'll probably concentrate on i) Sam's last great battle, March 28, outside Arras, during the Spring Offensive when his Battalion was ordered to fight to the last bullet to cover a retreat and he was eventually taken prisoner, and ii) his Armistice experience from camp guards going "Red" overnight, through an arduous and eventful five-day walk west to freedom, and his concluding tiptoe the wrong way through a German front-line minefield.

I can't offer you a meet-the-author I'm afraid, but if you want to chat with his son and editor I'll be around and helping out all day - plus selling the third and final edition of the Memoir, added documents, Endnotes and all (proceeds from Sam's writings go to the British Red Cross).

For further details of First World War Day and other branch activities see the WFA London East website at http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/branches/united-kingdom/london-east/

FOOT SOLDIER SAM MEMOIR READING event organised by WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION WILTSHIRE BRANCH Sunday October 7, 2-4.30pm, Highworth (north of Swindon). More details in due course.

But that leaves rather a lot of unreading days before the end of the WW1's final centenary year! (Though I hope that won't signal an end to people's interest in those years which are still having their formative effect on our lives – remember what Chairman Mao said when asked about the ultimate influence of the French Revolution: "It's too soon to say".)

So here's Phil and Sam's pitch to whomever might like a good talking to…

Foot Soldier Sam's World War 1 in his own words: Sam Sutcliffe's son and editor Phil reads excerpts from his father's story of World War 1. The Memoir covers childhood through to volunteering at 16, then Gallipoli, the Somme, the Spring Offensive, his months as a POW through to Armistice and the Peace celebrations of July, 1919 – when he was just 21.
Pic by Lance Bolton of Royal Chelsea Hospital ©️2016.

Phil is happy to talk about the remarkable survivor he knew, how the Memoir was written, and encourage audience members to discuss any aspect of WW1 – or any war – especially their own stories of family members caught up in such conflicts and how it has affected their own lives.

The readings are free•, their purpose to record the essence of a First World War Tommy's experience, ensuring it's understood and not forgotten. Paperbacks of the Memoir will be available to buy at all readings. All proceeds from his writings in all formats go to the British Red Cross (paperback £10, £4 print costs, so £6 to the Red Cross - more than £2,800 raised as of March, 2018).
• Except if you're miles away I might ask for my fare!

Email philsutcliffe47@gmail.com or phone 020 8674 9397 for bookings.

Foot Soldier Sam's road trips so far:
Readings 2015
* Walthamstow, London
* St Leonard's, Sussex
* Primrose Hill, London
* Gloucester and as duo with Kelsey Thornton, expert on WW1 poet Ivor Gurney
* Newcastle (with Kelsey and Ivor)

Readings 2016
* "Chelsea Pensioners", London
* King's College, London seminar with four speakers, including Phil pp Sam relating excerpts from Nobody Of Any Importance to the work of World War 1's best-known front-line poet Wilfred Owen on the theme Patriotism And 'The Great Game'.

Readings 2017
* Western Front Association WW1 open day at St Mary's Church, Walthamstow, September.
* Ox & Bucks Western Front Association September meeting, Chalfont St Giles, October.
* Abergavenny Library, October
* Walthamstow (London East) Branch of the Western Front Association, November

Readings 2018
* Western Front Association Essex (Hornchurch), April. This event sadly turned out to be in memory of Bill Fulton of Essex WFA and Malcolm Doolin of Walthamstow (London East) WFA who both died quite suddenly in the couple of weeks before the reading. Both much missed by everybody who knew them and the whole WW1 Remembrance movement.
* Western Front Association Central London branch, May.

Phil seeing eye to eye with Sam outside Abergavenny Library
before the October, 1917 reading. Pic by Phil's wife Gay Lee.
A brief history of Sam's son, Phil: 70, a Londoner, has been a  journalist all his working life, freelance mostly, writing about music – articles listed here – sport and many other interesting matters. Outlets have included Mojo, Q, Los Angeles Times, Total Sport, Sounds, Smash Hits, Time Out. He also wrote books about The Police, AC/DC, and Queen, before latterly turning to editing and publishing Sam's Memoir. Bruce Springsteen multi-tome always on the go…

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