Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front

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9780007137527: Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front

The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it.

Of the six million men who served in the British army, nearly one million lost their lives and over two million were wounded. This is the story of these men – epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins – and the women they left behind.

Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry from the years 1914-1918, Richard Holmes paints a moving picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders. He follows men whose mental health was forever destroyed by shell shock, women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon and those who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea.

Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, this book tells the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind an epic event, and their legacy. It is an emotional and unforgettable masterpiece from one of our most important historians.

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Review:

Tommy is Richard Holmes's tribute to the ghosts of the millions of ordinary soldiers who fought in the First World War. The book also reflects the dissatisfaction he feels at the way we still remember it. Too often we approach World War I through the literature it inspired. The poems of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and others have their own truths to offer, but Holmes would dispute the assumption that they represent the experiences of the majority of those who endured the trench warfare of the Western Front.

To discover new voices and new perspectives on the war he has trawled through the rich archives of letters, diaries and memoirs that still exist, most of them written while the fighting still continued. From these he has constructed an extraordinarily vivid and moving picture of what it felt like to be one of the millions of men who served in the British army during the four years between August 1914 and the armistice on November 11, 1918. From Private Albert Bullock rejoicing in the discovery of 200 Woodbines in the pack of a fellow soldier who had fled the front line, to Private Eric Hiscock describing the horrors of finding himself entangled in barbed wire. The Tommies, whom Richard Holmes rescues from obscurity, prove powerful witnesses to the diverse realities of the war. Beneath the stereotyped images of the First World War that we all carry in our heads, the real lives of the men who fought it are still there to be discovered and Holmes’s book brings them forcefully to our attention. ––Nick Rennison

Review:

‘Holmes is one of our foremost military scholars and a skilled writer who knows his audience well. This is excellent popular history: scholarly, highly readable and utterly absorbing.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Monumental … Every page of this is worth reading.’ Time Out

‘Where Holmes’s book comes brilliantly to life is in his use of first-hand accounts of the trench experience … It is Holmes’s achievement to make this familiar landscape come alive with the humanity of those who fought in it.’ TLS

‘Holmes has produced yet another fascinating, balanced and original book of a highly emotive subject. ‘ Sunday Telegraph

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Holmes, Richard
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ISBN 10: 0007137524 ISBN 13: 9780007137527
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it. Of the six million men who served in the British army, nearly one million lost their lives and over two million were wounded. This is the story of these men - epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins - and the women they left behind. Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry from the years 1914-1918, Richard Holmes paints a moving picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders. He follows men whose mental health was forever destroyed by shell shock, women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon and those who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea. Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, this book tells the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind an epic event, and their legacy. It is an emotional and unforgettable masterpiece from one of our most important historians. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780007137527

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it. Of the six million men who served in the British army, nearly one million lost their lives and over two million were wounded. This is the story of these men - epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins - and the women they left behind. Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry from the years 1914-1918, Richard Holmes paints a moving picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders. He follows men whose mental health was forever destroyed by shell shock, women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon and those who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea. Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, this book tells the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind an epic event, and their legacy. It is an emotional and unforgettable masterpiece from one of our most important historians. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780007137527

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front, Richard Holmes, The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it. Of the six million men who served in the British army, nearly one million lost their lives and over two million were wounded. This is the story of these men - epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins - and the women they left behind. Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry from the years 1914-1918, Richard Holmes paints a moving picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders. He follows men whose mental health was forever destroyed by shell shock, women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon and those who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea. Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, this book tells the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind an epic event, and their legacy. It is an emotional and unforgettable masterpiece from one of our most important historians. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007137527

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Book Description Harper Perennial, 2005. Book Condition: New. The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it. Num Pages: 752 pages, (4 x 8pp b/w plates), With index. BIC Classification: 1DD; 3JJF; HBJD; HBWN; JWLF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 38. Weight in Grams: 596. . 2005. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780007137527

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it. Of the six million men who served in the British army, n. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780007137527_rkm

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Book Description 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 130mm x 197mm x 53mm. Paperback. The unmissable Sunday Times bestseller now in paperback. The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important bo.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 752 pages. 0.590. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007137527

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Book Description Harper Perennial. Book Condition: New. The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it. Num Pages: 752 pages, (4 x 8pp b/w plates), With index. BIC Classification: 1DD; 3JJF; HBJD; HBWN; JWLF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 38. Weight in Grams: 596. . 2005. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780007137527

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