Merry Hell: The Story of the 25th Battalion (Nova Scotia Regiment), Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919

By Captain Robert N Clements, MC
Edited by Brian Douglas Tennyson

© 2013

Merry Hell is the only complete history of the 25th Canadian infantry battalion, which was recruited in the autumn and winter of 1914–15 and served overseas from spring 1915 until spring 1919. Author Robert N Clements, who served in the battalion throughout that period and rose from private to captain, wrote the story many years after the war, based on his personal memories and experiences. As such, his story reflects two unique perspectives on Canadian military history – the remarkably fresh recollections and anecdotes of a veteran, and the outlook of a man eager to share what his generation contributed to the nation’s history, character, and identity.

Professional military historian Brian Douglas Tennyson buttresses Clements’s story with a valuable critical apparatus, including an analytical introduction that contextualizes the history and notes that explain unfamiliar points and people. Merry Hell is a captivating tale for those who enjoy stories of war and battle, and one that will entertain readers with Clements’s richly colourful anecdotes and witty poems, none of which have been published before.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 290 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED APR 2018

    From: $22.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9781487523138
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2013

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    Regular Price: $47.95

    ISBN 9781442644960
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2013

    From: $22.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

Quick Overview

Merry Hell is a captivating tale for those who enjoy stories of war and battle, and one that will entertain readers with Clements’s richly colourful anecdotes and witty poems, none of which have been published before.

Merry Hell: The Story of the 25th Battalion (Nova Scotia Regiment), Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919

By Captain Robert N Clements, MC
Edited by Brian Douglas Tennyson

© 2013

Merry Hell is the only complete history of the 25th Canadian infantry battalion, which was recruited in the autumn and winter of 1914–15 and served overseas from spring 1915 until spring 1919. Author Robert N Clements, who served in the battalion throughout that period and rose from private to captain, wrote the story many years after the war, based on his personal memories and experiences. As such, his story reflects two unique perspectives on Canadian military history – the remarkably fresh recollections and anecdotes of a veteran, and the outlook of a man eager to share what his generation contributed to the nation’s history, character, and identity.

Professional military historian Brian Douglas Tennyson buttresses Clements’s story with a valuable critical apparatus, including an analytical introduction that contextualizes the history and notes that explain unfamiliar points and people. Merry Hell is a captivating tale for those who enjoy stories of war and battle, and one that will entertain readers with Clements’s richly colourful anecdotes and witty poems, none of which have been published before.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 290 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Merry Hell is a well written book that can be used for casual reading or academic study... It is rare to come across such a book, especially in the study of history.’


    Erich N. Lenz
    Canadian Military History vol 25:01:2016

    ‘This is a useful contribution to our understanding of the experiences of that generation of young Canadians who marched off to war 100 years ago.’


    Patrick Brennan
    University of Toronto Quarterly vol 84:03:2015

    ‘Canadians everywhere, and not just those of us in Nova Scotia, owe a debt of gratitude to Robert Clements for writing this book – and to Brian Tennyson for placing it so resolutely in the public realm. This is a work permitting us to see with searing clarity the vile nature and devastating toll of modern warfare.’


    Wilf Cude
    The Antigonish Review #180

    ‘I enjoyed reading every page of Merry Hell – couldn’t put it down, really. Part history and part memoir, it is a singular contribution to our knowledge of the First World War and those who fought it. Anyone who calls himself or herself a First World War historian will read this book with a smile of satisfaction on their face – it just rings true and genuine, and is more immediate than existing studies. And for those who haven’t read much on the First World War, at least at the battalion history level, this will be a revelation.’
    Steve Harris, Chief Historian, Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence

    Merry Hell is an amazing book…. As we approach the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, Merry Hell is an invaluable addition to the literature of that war and Nova Scotia’s role in it.’


    John Boileau
    The Chronicle Herald, September 14, 2013
  • Author Information

    Brian Douglas Tennyson is emeritus professor in the Department of History at Cape Breton University.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    Preface

    Chapter 1 In the Beginning

    Chapter 2 Growing Pains

    Chapter 3 Oh What a Lovely War

    Chapter 4 Under Way at Last

    Chapter 5 Summer Days

    Chapter 6 Away to the Races

    Chapter 7 Phooie Il Pluie

    Chapter 8 What Next?

    Chapter 9 Waiting Time

    Chapter 10 Dear Old Blighty

    Chapter 11 You Can Have It

    Chapter 12 In the Good Old Summer Time

    Chapter 13 Notes from the Observers

    Chapter 14 Birth of the Battalion Canteen

    Chapter 15 Why?

    Chapter 16 The Corps Comes of Age

    Chapter 17 In Again Out Again

    Chapter 18 Dirty Jobs

    Chapter 19 Cleaning Up

    Chapter 20 The Last 100 Days

    Chapter 21 The Long Road Home

    Appendix Nominal Roll of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men of the 25th Battalion

    Recommended Reading