WW1 Question - did anyone fight through the entire war?

I’ve just finished reading a book about the Great War - [Hotshots]"War, it’s fantastic[/Hotshots] - namely, “The Great War Generals on the Western Front” by Robin Neillands, a sympathetic look at the problems of command in that conflict.

While I had a basic knowledge of that war before reading the book what really struck me is the massive casualty figures in even successful offences running into many thousands per army engaged.

That got me to wondering did any soldier on the Western Front fight in a role that would have brought him to the frontlines regularly through the entire conflict from August 1914 to November 1918 and participate in more than one of the major battles?

Reading books like that make me appreciate living in an at least semi-peaceful time and place…

In many battalions the only people who went right through the war were the transport men or the quartermaster who were left out of battle anyway.
I recall reading In The Cannon’s Mouth by P J Campbell. He wasn’t out from the start but by the end he was almost the only one left, and for much of that time he was a cook with the transport.

Not to Goodwinize the thread, but Hitler was at the front all through the war, except for a few weeks at the end spent in the hospital recovering from being gassed. Since he was a dispatch runner, he didn’t take part in assaults or trench raids, but, considering that 75% of the casualties of the war were from artillery, his luck was amazing. Nine million guys killed and that one had to make it through.
During the war, Hitler was in the sights of a British soldier named Henry Tandey. An ordinary soldier would be exited & exhausted and would simply pull the trigger, saving 40 million lives, but Tandey (who also served through the whole war) was a superior individual who’d later win the Victoria Cross, and had the presence of mind not to shoot an man who was standing still, offering no resistance.

I read a book called ‘The Man Who Invented Hitler’ by David Lewis that stated that Hitlers stay in the hospital was at least partially due to hysterical blindness sparked by the gas attack and the psychological method his doctor used to treat him helped to create the implacable confidence and self-belief Hitler would later use to such ill-effect.

Don’t know how much faith to place in it but there you go.

I do recall that dispatch runner was one of the most dangerous jobs in a very dangerous place…there is a saying, “The devil looks after his own”

Thanks for the answers

[SP Nitpick] You’re thinking of Godwin’s law there, not Goodwin’s. For the reference of those few dopers who don’t know if it, this => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin’s_law

Pte George Ellison a British soldier was present at the first action of the BEF, at the Marne and was killed on Nov 11 1918, one hour before the armastice went into effect.

Further to the above.

As terrible as he was, someone far worse may have been killed during the war, an anonymous soldier who in a different timeline would’ve become the tyrannical master of the entire world, but we’ll never know it. Fortunately.

This story appears to be all over the web, mostly citing the same source, and mostly appearing to be cut-and-paste of the same text. Further, it has all the elements of urban legend. Is there some authoritative source indicating it’s true?

Significantly or not, in 40 years of voracious reading about the British military, both world wars, and Hitler, I’ve never seen any hint of this except that one text passage.

Ernest Junger’s"Storm of Steel" is one of the most famous World War I memoirs. Although he did not see action until April, 1915 he was wounded 14 times. Casualty figures often include killed AND wounded so someone like Junger would be counted multiple times as a caualty. Although certainly the killed figures are horrific.

Good point. The Berchtesgaden Tourist Board is listed as a source. I’ll ressurect this thread if they respond to my e-mail.