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Mar 07

A Little “Over the Top”: A brief question and answer with Over the Top editor David Scott Stieghan

  1. Who wrote Over the Top
    Arthur Guy Empey
  2. Where was the Empey born?Born in Utah with a Canadian father and American mother, Arthur Guy Empey received part of his schooling in Virginia before the family moved to New York City.
  3. Did he serve in just the British Army?No, not at all. Lying about his age, Empey actually first joined the New York National Guard and served in the Infantry and, for a time, in the state naval militia. His sense of adventure led him to enlist in the United States Regular Cavalry for two three-year hitches that included service in Georgia and Texas before his discharge at the rank of Sergeant. Returning to New York City, Empey was working with an engineering firm in Jersey City, New Jersey as well as serving part time as a Sergeant and recruiter in the State Cavalry when World War began in 1914.
  4. Can you tell us why Empey joined the British Army?After the SS Lusitania was sunk by a submarine, Empey felt that America should have declared war on Germany. Eager to get in the fight, Empey quit his job at an engineering firm in Jersey City, NJ, crossed the submarine-menaced waters of the Atlantic Ocean, enlisted, and then fought as a member of the British Army.
  5. Why did Over the Top interest American Readers?Over the Top is an account following Empey’s basic training, his dispatch to France to fight in the trenches of the Western Front where he was wounded at least twice. His book is an incredibly detailed account of his service and really the first relatable insight of what the War would look like for Americans.