Tag archives for Artillery observer


Poetry – Bloom by James Kemp

Bloom “Splash!” A roar over my head closes from behind and drowns the radio. Binoculars brought to bear, I observe the seed embedding. It grows a small orange blossom. Morphing into a larger, darker flower climbing from the point of impact. Rain patters over the iron roof as sods and stones strike sonorously. The flower is gone, dissipated in a cloud of dust, and silence returns. Notes Bloom was the first full poem that I wrote, and this is the fourth draft, which may not be the final version. It was prompted from my memory of watching artillery shells burst when training as an artillery forward observer at Warcop training area in Cumbria in 1991. On the FOO course I gave an incorrect map reference and the first ranging shell burst about 150m in front of me (the wartime safety distance is…
Continue Reading

Book Review – Field of Fire: Diary of a Gunner Officer by Jack Swaab

Field of Fire: Diary of a Gunner Officer by Jack Swaab My rating: 5 of 5 stars I read the hardback version very shortly after it came out. I collect first hand accounts of the WW2 and unit histories of the 51st Highland Division in particular, so this one was a must buy. That said it is one of the best first hand accounts that I have read, and certainly the best from a gunner (it comparies favourably to George Blackburn's Guns of War series - he was also a Forward Observation Officer). You can have no doubt about the hardships of war, what the conditions were like for both the gunners on the gun line and the infantry on the front line. The book is very descriptive without becoming flowery and it avoids glossing over some of the less…
Continue Reading

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: