Through the Gates of Hell & Back: memoir of a footslogger from ‘The Avenue’ (ISBN 9781895814149)



SECOND PRINTING: the first printing sold out in ten weeks after its original release.  The authors are: John B. O’Brien with his daughter, Devonna (O’Brien) Edwards.

20% off this best-selling memoir from World War II … one of very few, as well as the last one written by a front line combat soldier, who survived his war wounds to take his place in society as a pharmacist, raised a large family and contributed to the youth of his adopted community. all of the royalties from this publication are donated to KidsSport Nova Scotia in honour  of John B O’Brien

See comments on this site and others from readers, especially military veterans.

This book is an unabridged memoir written by and for infantrymen who bore the brunt of war. It chronicles the hardships of the footslogger struggling through the mud and cold, witnessing the torn flesh and death of comrades at arms, penned with a poignant humour and sprinkled with lessons learned,as a boy is transformed into a man during his journey “to and through the gates of hell and back”.

It is the story of the Canadian First Division’s determined and bloody fight through Sicily and Italy, a fight that ended for John Bentley O’Brien on the outskirts of Ortona (The Gully). Follow this personal account from his initial enlistment in the Halifax Rifles in 1940 as a member of the signal corps – to his stint in the Merchant Marine sailing in U-boat infested waters and his subsequent court martial – to his transfer to the West Nova Scotia Regiment with whom he served overseas from 1942-44 – and with whom he remained connected through 40 years of reunions and the Royal Canadian Legion.

Cover is by well-known portrait artist and illustrator, Jacqui Mitchell.

Flat rate shipping: until Summer, 2018, Free in Canada and $5.00 to continental USA.

Additional information

Weight 0.63934056033614 kg
Dimensions 6 × 0.4 × 9 in