Afternoon tea at Bowood Hotel with Guest Author, Andrew Davidson on Thursday 27 March
‘Fred’s War: A Doctor in the Trenches’, is the book that Andrew Davidson has always wanted to write – in it he tells of his grandfather, Fred who was one of the first medics to win the Military Cross in the First World War.
A 25 year-old minister’s son, Fred Davidson left northernmost Scotland for the battlefields of France in August 1914 and the illuminating photographs in his grandson’s book chart his eight month service in the 1st Battalion, Cameronians.
Fresh from the Royal Army Medical Corps and a newly qualified doctor, his story is a rare glimpse into the early stages of the 1914-1918 war.
He had brought, alongside his medical equipment, his folding camera, and with his friends in the troops began to secretly document life in the trenches.
Fred and his comrades clandestinely built up a wealth of images providing an insight into their life on the front line unlike any before.
Only now, after remaining in the family for three generations, have their pictures become public in Andrew Davidson’s new book as he pieces together the stories behind the pictures, creating an intimate portrait of the lives of the soldiers.
These are tales of camaraderie: the men later dubbed themselves the ‘Old Contemptibles’ – their proud riposte to Kaiser Wilhelm’s alleged jibe at Britain’s “contemptible little army’.
‘Fred’s War’ examines just how ill prepared doctors were for the trenches and shows some of the extraordinary photographs of daily life taken by Fred Davidson and his fellow officers in the Cameronians, at a time when cameras were banned from the front line.
Andrew Davidson is an award-winning journalist; he was the author of The Sunday Times Business interview page from 2003 to 2012.
Bowood Hotel’s afternoon tea on Thursday 27 March paves the way towards Bowood House’s ‘For King and Country: Bowood and the First World War’ exhibition which will be unveiled in The Orangery on 1 April as the House & Gardens re-open for their new season (through to Monday 2 November).
Tickets to attend the English Afternoon Tea talk – starting at 3.30pm – are priced at £17.50 per person and reservations should be booked in advance with Bowood Hotel’s Reception. (Tel: 01249 822228)
For further details on these and other Bowood Hotel events visit: www.bowood.org/events