A 19-year-old South African volunteers to serve in the 1916 East African campaign under General Smuts. But his dream of embarking on a great adventure quickly dissipates when he becomes engulfed in a nightmarish struggle of survival in a guerrilla-type warfare in a hostile environment where many soldiers succumbed to tropical diseases.
In Ritchie’s War Neville Herrington pulls the reader back into a time zone of vivid war encounters where death and carnage, devastating disease, courage, apprehension and futility, loss of faith and recurring youthful determination are daily realities.
I couldn’t put the book down as I became so enwrapped in an unfolding story that transported me into a place where I immediately became one with this World War 1, East African Campaign soldier. Together we faced the endless hours on the march along difficult terrain, the equatorial heat, dense jungles, the monotonous basic rations, the encounter with indigenous people, and the unfairness of a turbulent world which used humanity to further the imperial aims of belligerents. I also found myself being drawn into a personal war of a young man whose experiences force him to confront a past of tangled perplexities which would steer him into self-realization and a new direction.
UK Historical Travel Writer