The Recollections of Rifleman Bowlby

By Alex Bowlby

He did not fire his rifle, but in 1944, having distinguished itself in the North Africa campaign, Rifleman Bowlby had to carry his rifle carefully, when his battalion of Greenjackets was sent to Italy. However, most of the battalion’s vehicles were taken away when they got there – instead of being used in the specialised role for which they’d been trained. As a result, the riflemen were told that they were to be used as ordinary infantry. Stripped of its hard core of regulars, the battalion suffered one disastrous defeat after another until its hard-won reputation fell in tatters, but Bowlby recorded it all. The sweating, slogging, frightened infantryman in conditions of extreme stress and horror … it’s a grizzly tale. Bedtime reading.

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