'less flora, more fauna'
SANDES, Flora. An English Woman-Sergeant in the Serbian Army … With an Introduction by Slavko Y. Grouitch. London, New York, Toronto, Hodder and Stoughton, 1916.
8vo. Original terracotta cloth, lettered in black; pp. x, 242, plates after photographs, cloth a little rubbed, blind-stamp and name to half-title, otherwise a good copy.
First edition of a great rarity. The personal account of the 40-year old Yorkshire woman, the only British woman to serve as an active soldier in WW1. 'Whatever reservations were expressed about women in the ranks at home, however, Sandes's experience and position demanded the same respect shown to any official representative of an allied army. She had returned home wearing the Kara George star - the highest medal awarded to non-commissioned officers—for her bravery during the Serbian retreat into Albania. She had lived in the trenches with her comrades, shared their food, slept underneath their overcoats, divided her last cigarettes and crusts of bread with them, and was severely wounded in November 1915 by a Bulgarian bomb. Promoted to sergeant she was wounded again in July 1917 and returned to her unit the following October. She participated in the final offensive against the Austrian and Bulgarian forces and was demobilized on 31 October 1922' (ODNB). - Flora Sandes, of Irish descent, was described by the Irish Times as follows: 'Less Flora, more fauna, she rode horses, shot things, and learned to drive fast cars as early as possible' (Frank McNally, A Feminist at the Front - An Irishman’s Diary about Flora Sandes, March 2, 2017).