Cornerstones: The Life of H.M. Farmar, from Omdurman to the Western Front: Sudan, South Africa, Gallipoli, France and Belgium

Cornerstones: The Life of H.M. Farmar, from Omdurman to the Western Front: Sudan, South Africa, Gallipoli, France and Belgium

by Katherine Swinfen Eady


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A chance encounter with a bundle of small dusty envelopes neatly wrapped up in string set Katherine Swinfen Eady on a journey of discovery about her Great Grandfather, Harold Mynors Farmar. As a regular soldier with the Lancashire Fusiliers Mynors began his army career in the traditional infantry format of a fighting square facing up to the Dervishes in the desert of the Sudan. Miraculously he survived the battle and the disease that followed and continued his career through the South African Wars and the First World War where Mynors suffered the horrors of Gallipoli, Messines and Third Ypres.

At Gallipoli, as Staff Captain of the 86th Brigade, he witnessed the death of his friends on W Beach and then took command of the Brigade when the GOC was injured and the brigade major killed. At Messines, on General Sir John Monash’s staff of 3rd Australian Division he helped plan the battle and in the mud of Passchendaele he worked tirelessly to get his division fed, supplied and cared for. He was with the 35th Division when they played an important part in stemming the German advance in the Spring of 1918. And later on in the final year of the war, he taught at the newly established US Army Staff College in France before his wealth of knowledge and experience was called for by IX Corps when they pushed the Germans back before the Armistice. Mynors was a close friend of Tubby Clayton and worked closely with him for Toc H both during the war and afterwards. He was also part of the Inter-Allied Command in Turkey post war under Sir Charles Harington when they took the opportunity to review the Landings at Gallipoli with a Staff Tour.

This book draws on a wealth of private papers that had lain undiscovered for years, and a hoard of letters written every day throughout the war to his beloved wife. Their importance lies in the wide breadth of operational theatres Mynors served in throughout his career and clearly shows how regular army officers of his generation not only understood the need for adaptation and learning at a period of desperate fighting but builds on our understanding of the importance of individual initiative and relationships in inter-theatre learning and cooperation. It dismisses the concept that Staff Officers of the First World War were incompetent and inexperienced and shows the true feeling these ‘Cornerstones’ of the military endeavor had for the men under their care.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910777435
Publisher: Helion and Company
Publication date: 04/25/2019
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Katherine Swinfen Eady is a professional artist and is married to Gareth Davies a retired Army Officer and Military Historian. Having trained at Edinburgh College of Art she has an established career as an oil painter in the Scottish Colourist tradition. Katherine has an MA in The History of Britain and the First World War from Wolverhampton with Distinction. Her previous publications include a Chapter on Brigade Staff for Gallipoli: New Perspectives on the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force 1915-16.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 5

List of Maps 7

Abbreviations 8

Acknowledgements 11

Foreword Dr Spencer Jones 13

Introduction 15

1 The Farmar Family 23

2 A Subalterns Road to Omdurman 29

3 Omdurman 44

4 Crete Insurrection 53

5 A Ride of a Thousand Miles 56

6 China-bound 68

7 Tipperary 75

8 A Decade of Change 80

9 The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst 86

10 The London School of Economics 92

11 Social Reform 98

12 The Road to War 104

13 'War brings out the very best in men' 110

14 Aden 115

15 A Change in Strategy 137

16 Sailing into Peril 146

17 Gallipoli 160

18 The Landing 168

19 Cape Helles 194

20 First Battle of Krithia 202

21 Second Battle of Krithia 211

22 A Hornet's Nest 226

23 A Lucky Break 235

24 June-July 1915 243

25 'Grand material' 256

26 With 3rd Australian Division 263

27 The Western Front 277

28 December 1916 282

29 1917 293

30 January 298

31 February 309

32 March 320

33 April 327

34 May 1917 336

35 June - Battle of Messines 350

36 July 363

37 August 373

38 Leaving 3rd Australian Division 383

39 With 35th Division 387

40 September 396

41 October 404

42 November 415

43 December 1917 424

44 1918 430

45 March 443

46 April 457

47 May 468

48 June 472

49 July 483

50 August 492

51 September 502

52 October 508

53 The Game is Up 520

54 December - HQ IX Corps 536

55 January 1919 - Going home 547

56 Post-war 549

Bibliography 560

Index 574

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