Fighting High Books
Fire-step to Fokker Fodder (signed edition)
From the Trenches to the Red Baron. The First World War Diaries of William 'Jack' Lidsey.
by Andrew WhiteHardback - 208pp (including 16pp of black and white photographs, and 10 maps) - 234 x 156mm.
World Rights - Fighting High Ltd. ISBN - 978-1-9998128-7-4.
Jack Lidsey was one of the first to volunteer during the Great War, enlisting as a private soldier in his local regiment, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, in August 1914. He was sent to the Ypres Salient in March 1915, experiencing trench warfare around Ploegsteert Wood before moving south to the Somme in France. Lidsey was sent home for commissioning early in 1916, re-joining his battalion as a Second Lieutenant just in time for the Somme offensive of that summer. Time and again, he led his platoon into hails of enemy machine-gun fire, grenade and artillery attacks around Pozières, where the Oxfordshires took horrendous casualties. By any measure, Jack was lucky to survive, and in November 1916 he decided to try a different approach to warfare – from the air.
Jack joined the Royal Flying Corps as an observer with No. 16 Squadron, flying the outdated BE2, and was immediately plunged into aerial combat in the skies above the Western Front. His squadron suffered severe losses in the run-up to the Arras offensive of 1917, many at the hands of two of Germany’s great aces, Werner Voss and Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. Lidsey himself fought von Richthofen and survived, until, on another fateful occasion, the Red Baron claimed him as his 29th victim.
Jack kept a detailed diary for the whole two years of his war, from going overseas until the day before his death. His descriptions of conditions in the trenches and of the fighting he experienced are vivid and compelling. Andrew White’s Fire-step to Fokker Fodder is based on Jack’s journal and includes numerous previously unpublished photographs, offering a unique personal insight into life and death on the Western Front, both in the trenches and in the air.
Author Andrew White
Andrew White was born in Brackley, Northamptonshire. He joined the RAF in 1985 and served for 26 years in the Intelligence Branch retiring as a Wing Commander. Andrew served operationally in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq with both fast jet and transport squadrons; he also enjoyed tours in the Ministry of Defence and operational headquarters at home and abroad. Now a battlefield guide, Andrew takes GCSE students to the sites of the Western Front and Normandy, and A Level students to Berlin. He lives with his family on the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border.