• The Kaiser's reluctant conscript : my experiences in the War 1914-1918 /​ Dominik Richert ; translated by David Carrick Sutherland.
Uniform Title
  • Beste Gelegenheit zum Sterben. English
  • Richert, Dominik, 1893-1977, (author.)
Other Authors
  • Sutherland, David Carrick, 1946-, (translator.)
  • Barnsley Pen &​ Sword Military, 2012.
  • ©2012
Content Types
  • text
Carrier Types
  • volume
Physical Description
  • xiv, 272 pages, 8 pages of unnumbered plates : illustrations, 1 map ; 24 cm.
  • Translation of: Beste Gelegenheit zum Sterben : meine Erlebnisse im Kriege 1914-1918: München : Knesebeck &​ Schuler, c1989.
  • Formerly CIP.
  • Originally published München : Knesebeck &​ Schuler, c1989. 3926901152
  • English
  • 9781781590331 (hbk.) :
  • 1781590338 (hbk.) :
Dewey Number
  • 940.481
Libraries Australia ID
Contributed by
Libraries Australia

David Sutherland


MA in European History


Gained an MSc Bioinformatics with Systems Biology (distinction) November 2012 having graduated with a BA German (First) in July 2007 and completed a Creative Writing module, 2013

David Sutherland already had three degrees – two from Dundee and one from Queen Mary – when he started studying at Birkbeck.  He has since added another two, both from Birkbeck, and is now studying for an MA European History.  Aged 66, he has also recently translated a book, The Kaiser’s Reluctant Conscript, from German into English.

'I failed the Scottish 11+ – and that was a great motivator! Although I was let through on appeal I think I set out to prove everyone wrong – I certainly didn’t go straight through the system.

'I studied Physics at my local university, Dundee, and stayed to do a PhD. I saw myself becoming a physicist, but became very interested in IT, then in its very early stages. I decided that was what I wanted to do and went to work for ICL [International Computers Ltd, now Fujitsu].

'I might have stayed in that job for life but I wanted to go to Germany. In the post-war years my school had actively encouraged pupils to think about reconciliation with Germany – we were taught German, rather than French, and I went on a German school exchange. My grandfather fought in the trenches in the First World War and my father was in the army in the Second World War. Given the changed circumstances it seemed worthwhile to live in Germany and help bury past differences.'

David went to work for ICL in Germany at the European Space Agency, and continued to work for them in Stuttgart and Nuremberg, before being headhunted to work for a well-known retailer in Switzerland.  He became head of IT for his company but, after a bypass operation, was given early retirement in 2001.

'I came back to Britain and discovered my IT qualifications were not considered up to date. So I did a Masters in Internet Technology at Queen Mary in 2002 and worked as a designer/developer until 2009. I might not have pursued my interest in German but for my brother in law, who suggested doing a BA in German at Birkbeck. After finishing a day’s work, I would head down to Birkbeck for the evening. I enjoyed the social environment and the opportunity to develop my reading. It was fascinati