Both Sides of the Wire

William Cull

RRP: £12.99

1 November 2012

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781742376165

This is Bill Cull’s unforgettable story of his experiences in WW1: he fought at Gallipoli and on the Western Front where he was captured by the Germans and was a POW until the end of the war.

Captain William Cull fought the First World War from both sides of the wire. As a young infantry officer on the Allied side of the Western Front, Cull frequently led patrols out into No Man’s Land and raids on the German trenches. He took part in bitter fighting on the Somme at Pozi?res, and in February 1917 was severely wounded in a futile attack on the German trenches near Warlencourt, where he was taken prisoner by the Germans. Having survived the ordeal of battle, Cull spent the remainder of the war on the German side of the wire.

The first half of Both Sides of the Wire is an action-packed account of Cull’s war on the Western Front in the months leading up to his capture. The second half is a candid portrayal of his experiences as a prisoner of war in the hands of the Germans. Cull endured many months of agony as he recovered in prison camps in occupied France and Germany- surviving in spite of German doctors’ early predictions that he would not live through his first night in captivity.

This book is based on the memoir At All Costs that Cull wrote in the months after his repatriation to Australia in October 1918. Aaron Pegram is a historian at the Australian War Memorial. He has written the introduction, epilogue and notes for Cull’s memoir, which remains one of the very few published accounts of captivity in Germany during the First World War.