Here is a book about Pioneers for Pioneers and written by
a Pioneer. Pioneers, mark you, not Royal Pioneers; the difference
is touchingly drawn and is a fitting climax to memoirs which
for the most part are the escapades of a Pioneer.
It don't cost a penny is written in the familiar cockney
style of ex-batman who wrote a number of articles in the Corps
Magazines. Eddie Harwood is in fact ex-batman who is in fact
none other than Major E H (Edward Harwood) Rhodes-Wood who
for so long hid his identity. It was revealed only on publication
of this book.
It don't cost you a penny records events that are true and
one of its minor appeal is the amusement to be had in identifying
the characters - some thinly, other heavily veiled- which
abound. Since these memoirs are true, they are history and
history of the Corps at that. But read it not as history but
as a damned funny account of a private soldier's soldiering.
It is written with a sincere, authentic ring; clearly the
author has an abiding understanding of Ex-Batman and portrays
him as the honest to god, loyalty to his unit and to hell
with the rest man that is the British Private Soldier.
It don't cost you a penny when published actually cost one
hundred and fourteen pennies and you get good value for every
one of them ! It is profusely illustrated by Sillence of Punch
who captures the spirit the author so ably writes about.