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Harper Collins, 2004, good condition with dustwrapper
This is the story of all these men, and the women they left behind. By using completely unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry of 1914-1918 to complete his picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders during the First World War, the life and character of Sgt Tommy Atkins is cast. Richard Holmes quotes many who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea; of women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon and those who's mental health was destroyed for ever by shell shock. He examines their motivation, the impact of their service, their attitudes to war and to the enemy, and ultimately the legacy of their experience. This book covers completely new ground and the result is a moving testament to the courage and sacrifice of a generation. It tells -- for the first time -- the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallability of the human spirit, and the individuals behind an epic event. It is an emotional and unforgettable masterpiece from one of our most important historians.