“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
Sam Sutcliffe, 1919, post Gallipoli, 
Somme, Arras 1918, POW months
Sam's lad Phil, um, not long
ago. Thanks and © Pete Jenkins

Forthcoming readings 2019 

FOOT SOLDIER SAM MEMOIR READING – "Nobody Of Any Importance: A Foot Soldier's Story" – event organised by WORCESTERSHIRE & HEREFORSHIRE WFA Friday November 15, 2019 7.30pm, Callow End Village Hall, Worcester.

I'll read excerpts from my father's WW1 frontline experiences with an emphasis on his time on the Somme front (including July 1 at Gommecourt with the Kensingtons) because it's of particular interest to branch members. Around that story, I'll also just touch on bits of: the poor London childhood that "made" the Tommy, Summer 1914 and the enlistment fever that saw him join up… his terrible and even sometimes terribly funny experiences of the trenches not only on the Somme but at Gallipoli (Suvla Bay, V Beach with the 2/1 Royal Fusiliers) and, later, the 1918 battle against the Spring Offensive outside Arras (Fampoux, his Company and 2/7 Essex Battalion's fight to the last bullet)… his eight months as a POW wandering occupied France and southern Germany… Armistice as viewed from a camp in Lorraine, his long trek back to the French Front (including the bit through a minefield)… his homecoming and further adventures during the months through to July, 1919, when he attended and riotously enjoyed the Peace Parade. If there's time. Well, at least a flavour of all that will be attempted.

Free entrance, but a small donation to help with the WFA's running costs is requested. Non-members always very welcome.

I can't offer you a meet-the-author I'm afraid, just a chat with his son and editor – plus a "chance to buy" the third and final edition of the Memoir, just out, price £10, with added documents, Endnotes and all (proceeds from Sam's writings go to the British Red Cross; in the case of the paperback that means £6 per copy). E-books of the Memoir and the extracted battle/campaign excerpts on Gallipoli, the Somme and the Spring Offensive (including his POW months and, finally, Peace) are also available via this blog, all details  http://footsoldiersam.blogspot.co.uk/p/books-available.html 

Contacts for the branch are Stephen Moorhouse (chairman) shm45@hotmail.co.uand Chantel Summerfield whb.wfa@hotmail.co.uk and a map to find the venue is at https://www.google.com/maps/place/52°08'33.8%22N+2°14'34.2%22W/@52.14272,-2.242826,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d52.14272!4d-2.242826?hl=en-GB

And then next…

* January 7 Kent (East) WFA, Canterbury.

* February 11 Cheltenham & Gloucester WFA, Cheltenham.

* February 27 Spalding & South Lincs WFA, Spalding.

* March 14 Wolverhampton WFA, Wolverhampton.

* March 26 Kent (North West) WFA, Petts Wood, Orpington.

* April 29 Lancashire (East) WFA, Burnley.

* June 10 Middlesex WFA, Whitton.

* June 12 Lancashire & Cheshire WFA, Stockport (moved from earlier date).

* June 19 Milton Keynes WFA, Milton Keynes.

* September 9 Heart Of England WFA, Warwick.

* September 19 Birmingham WFA, Sutton Coldfield.

… more details nearer the time. (Also see https://www.westernfrontassociation.com/branches/ )

The above leaves rather a lot of unreading days as the Remembrance movement plans its future programmes of events through 2019 and on into 2020 – after all how could we allow "We shall remember them" to become "Oh, forget it"?

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: Lance Corporal Signaller 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 front-line eye-witnessing Gallipoli, the Somme, the Spring Offensive, and his months as a POW through to Armistice and the Peace celebrations of July, 1919 – when he was just 21.
Sam meets the Chelsea Pensioners. Pic by
Lance Bolton of Royal Chelsea Hospital ©️2016.

Phil is happy to talk about the remarkable man he called "Dad", 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 Sam's writings in all formats go to the British Red Cross (paperback £10, £4 print costs, so £6 to the Red Cross - £3,772.16 raised as of December 4, 2018).
• Except if you're miles away from London I'll ask for my fare! And donations to the Red Cross to supplement proceeds from books sales are always welcome of course, but entirely up to you…

Email philsutcliffe47@gmail.com or phone 020 8674 9397 to discuss 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
* London East 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
* London East Western Front Association, Walthamstow, November

Readings 2018
* Essex Western Front Association, 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.
* London Central Western Front Association, Waterloo, May.
* London East Western Front Association WW1 open day at St Mary's Church, Walthamstow, September.
* Wiltshire Western Front Association, Highworth near Swindon, October.
* Surrey Western Front Association, Cobham, November.

Readings 2019
* Norfolk Western Front Association, Norwich, January.
* Northamptonshire Western Front Association, April.
* Tyneside Western Front Association, June.
* Wales (Gwent) and Devon & Cornwall Western Front Associations, September

The Norwich WFA reading, kind hospitality and a pic
kindly offered free to FootSoldierSam by proper
photographer © Peter Smith.

A brief history of Sam's son, Phil: 72, 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.

Phil seeing eye to eye with Sam outside Abergavenny
Library before the October, 1917 reading.
Pic by Phil's wife Gay Lee.

Poster for a run of reading gigs
– designed by Hina Pandya.

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