H. E. L. Mellersh joined the army straight from school. He knew and had thought little about history and the war, but the experiences in the trenches changed him. He thought deeply and was influenced by the men he led, his fellow officers and many good friends including Gordon Russel who was later to found the design centre. Harold Mellersh was determined that future generations should learn from his experiences. He believed that education was the most important thing and in his life wrote over 50 books. The three most important of these were about the first world war.
In the 1930's when war clouds were gathering, he wrote of his experiences as an autobiographical novel. He hoped that another war could be avoided but was beginning to fear for the future. In the 1970's, when the first world war was widely regarded as nothing more than an incomprehensible waste of life, he wrote the same story as an autobiography. The last book he wrote was a biography of Siegfried Sassoon the poet. He was, perhaps, uniquely qualified to write such a life as he had shared many of the same experiences as Sassoon, fighting in the trenches near Fricourt a few miles from where Sassoon fought, and sharing his experiences of returning home to “Blighty” and finding among civilians a complete lack of knowledge about the real experiences of the war.