Through the Hitler Line.
Author Lawrence F. Wilmot was a very brave man and he lets the reader know it. Undoubtedly the West Nova Scotia Regiment, to which he was attached, was indeed fortunate to have such a man looking after both their spiritual and physical welfare. He was a front-line padre in every way and his Military Cross could have been awarded more than once if the Canadian Army policy on decorations had not been so niggardly. Wilmot was indeed a "beloved padre" and was not afraid to stand up to higher authority if he believed the troops were being given impossible tasks or lacking the other arms support required. Although he admired his colourful Commanding Officer, he frequently locked horns with him on tactical as well as theological matters.
The horrors of the battlefield and the heroism of the unit's stretcher bearers are brought into full focus by Wilmot's writing skill. Yet much of his narrative is repetitious--but then so is war! And it is this that puts realism into his recollections of his more than a year as the West Novas' padre.
The book is an easy flowing narrative, but Wilmot must have kept a meticulous diary. No man's memory could recall the detail that is contained in these pages. It is this detail of course, which provides so much realism. Indeed, here is a tale so well told that the reader feels he is in the thick of it, exhausted by the exertions of battle, horrified by the bloodshed, and angered by war's stupidities.
Title: Through the Hitler Line: Memoirs of an Infantry Chaplain
Author: Lawrence F. Wilmoth, MC
Publishers: Wilfred Laurier University Press
Price: $34.95 (hardcover)
Details: 148 pp, photos, maps