Tommy's diary. Chronicle of a fallen English man
Allegedly the diary of a dead English soldier found on the battlefield, these ‘notes of a fallen Englishman’ tell the story of a naïve working-class youth who joins the army to escape a hard labouring life. When war breaks out he is sent to France where he is wounded and eventually killed in battle. This supposed ‘British Tommy’ produces typical German propagandist sentiments about greedy, warmongering British imperialism and the dauntless courage of the German troops. The British Army by contrast is portrayed as ill-equipped and ill-disciplined, its men lacking commitment to any cause except drinking. The real author, Norbert Willy, wrote a similar work purporting to be the diary of a French soldier who, like ‘Tommy’, comes to recognise the failings of his own country in the face of German superiority.