From Eton to Ypres

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Wilfrid Abel Smith has been acknowledged as one of the outstanding commanding officers of World War I. His letters and diaries provide a vivid, first-hand account of the fighting and suffering on the frontline and trench warfare. As an Old Etonian, his account gives key insight into his family’s social network and the connections he made: most of Wilfrid’s officers were Old Etonians as was his Brigade commander, Lord Cavan, and his second in command, Ma Jeffreys. This book is co-edited by Henry Hanning and Charles Abel Smith, grandson and great grandson of Wilfrid.


Charles Abel Smith is an Old Etonian and has recently retired from a career in finance. Henry Hanning is a former Grenadier who wrote The British Grenadiers. He was commissioned in 1959 from Sandhurst and served in West Germany, Berlin, Cyprus, Belize, Hong Kong, and Northern Ireland.