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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

How Young they Died


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Picked up a nice clean Hardback 1969 Collins edition which I've added to my "to read" pile. I beleive the author was a South African who served in the war:

The synopsis reads:

Stuart Cloete has chosen the first world war, of which he himself is a survivor, as the setting for his latest novel.

Jim Hilton, its hero is a subaltern of eighteen when he goes out to Flanders for the first time in April 1916, and a veteran of twenty one, twice wounded, married, gazetted Major, by the time his story ends.

It is a story of courage and the waste of human life in the bloody carnage of the Ypres salient and the Battle of the Somme that could only have been written by someone who was there and saw it, who was a participant in the struggle in which millions of men fought and died for narrow stretches of shattered ground and useless villages set like islands in an unending sea of mud.

It is also the story of the women who waited for those men - the mothers, wives and sweethearts - snatching desperately at moments of pleasure in the frenetic gaiety of wartime leaves in London, returning home to dreas every ring of the front door bell.

Stuart Cloete shows relentlessly the pressures of war upon individuals and society as his young hero, like thousands of others, seeks to fulfill himself in love as well as in Battle and to thread his way between the two ultimate expressions of virility - the taking and making of life.

Looks interesting and having read Birdsong recently and just started Pat Bakers trilogy it will make an interesting comparison.


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It's a good read. If you like it, try the book by Elleston Trevor called Bury him among kings.


Nice one Chris unfortunately my "to read" list has now expanded beyond manageable proportions and there are rumblngs of disbelief every time I appear home with another book.... ( I've had the audacity to ask for book vouchers for my 40th next month so it'll be interesting to see what I do get)

but I'll take a note and pick up a copy discreetly.. ;)

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