MERRY HELL! A DANE WITH THE CANADIANS

Thomas Dinesen, VC

ISBN 10: 1845740963 / ISBN 13: 9781845740962
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2004 N&M reprint (original pub 1930). SB. 254pp with 15 illusPublished Price £11.50 This memoir was first published in Denmark entitled ÒNo ManÕs LandÓ but when translated into English that title, for some reason, was changed to ÔMerry Hell!Ó, not, in my opinion, a very inspiring choice. Dinesen (1892-1979) was in Denmark when war broke out, and despite efforts to get to the war with the French Army, the French Foreign Legion and the British Army he was continually frustrated by officialdom who would not grant the necessary visa for him to get into France or UK. So he made it across to the USA where he tried again (for the American Army) and failed again. Finally he looked in on the Canadian HQ in New York and was given a warm welcome and advised to try for either The Princess PatÕs or, if he liked the idea of wearing a kilt, The 42nd Royal Highlanders of Canada, The Canadian Black Watch. So he was trasported in a group of fourteen to Montreal where, on 26 June 1917, he enlisted in the The Royal Highlanders (Princess PatÕs were not recruiting at the time) issued with a kilt and, handicapped by a limited knowledge of English, spent some time wondering why the regiment was named after a black watch. The first hundred or so pages describes all this and his training in Canada and in England till finally, on 15 March 1918, he arrives in France. His battalion was in 7th Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.This is certainly a rousing tale the way it is told with Dinesen frequently resorting to a sort of running commentary when describing the fighting. The action in which he won his VC near Parvillers in August 1918 during the course of prolonged hand-to-hand fighting through enemy trenches is written up with great gusto and makes a suitable climax to the book. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: This memoir was first published in Denmark entitled “No Man’s Land” but when translated into English that title, for some reason, was changed to ‘Merry Hell!”, not, in my opinion, a very inspiring choice. Dinesen (1892-1979) was in Denmark when war broke out, and despite efforts to get to the war with the French Army, the French Foreign Legion and the British Army he was continually frustrated by officialdom who would not grant the necessary visa for him to get into France or UK. So he made it across to the USA where he tried again (for the American Army) and failed again. Finally he looked in on the Canadian HQ in New York and was given a warm welcome and advised to try for either The Princess Pat’s or, if he liked the idea of wearing a kilt, The 42nd Royal Highlanders of Canada, The Canadian Black Watch. So he was trasported in a group of fourteen to Montreal where, on 26 June 1917, he enlisted in the The Royal Highlanders (Princess Pat’s were not recruiting at the time) issued with a kilt and, handicapped by a limited knowledge of English, spent some time wondering why the regiment was named after a black watch. The first hundred or so pages describes all this and his training in Canada and in England till finally, on 15 March 1918, he arrives in France. His battalion was in 7th Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.'This is certainly a rousing tale the way it is told with Dinesen frequently resorting to a sort of running commentary when describing the fighting. The action in which he won his VC near Parvillers in August 1918 during the course of prolonged hand-to-hand fighting through enemy trenches is written up with great gusto and makes a suitable climax to the book

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Title: MERRY HELL! A DANE WITH THE CANADIANS

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Thomas Dinesen, V.C.
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Book Description Naval and Military Press, no date (2004), Uckfield, East Sussex, England, 2004. Softcover. Facsimile reprint of the London: Jarrolds, 1930, edition. Glossy card covers, pp 254, photos. Covers curled at fore margins, ink owner name, VG clean and unworn otherwise. Dinesen, having failed to be accepted by the British, French, and American armies, was welcomed by the Canadians and joined the 42nd Royal Highlanders. He won his VC near Parvillers in August, 1918. He was the brother of Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). Note: lighter parcel, any default shipping price may be reduced. Size: 12mo. Seller Inventory # 48108

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