A Soldier’s Sketchbook

A Soldier’s Sketchbook: The Illustrated First World War Diary of R.H. Rabjohn

Written By: John Wilson

Publisher: Tundra Books; Ill edition (March 7, 2017)

MG Nonfiction

I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review

The sketches in this book are what really shines. Author John Wilson obtained a copy of the original diary and sketchbook of Russell Rabjohn who at the age of 18 enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army and was sent to fight in World War 1. He did everything from regular soldiering to sketching equipment and writing names on grave markers. When he wasn’t “working” he drew pictures in his own personal sketchbook of everything he saw. He was on leave in London and Paris and captured the sights there too.

The author explains at the start the Russell left school at the age of fourteen to train as an artist and while his drawings are amazing- his grammar was not. So, the diary has been edited for spelling and grammar, but you still get the voice of an 18yo shining through. I love original sources, and this one is excellent.

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