Related to: 'The War Behind the Wire'

W&N

Where Poppies Blow

John Lewis-Stempel
Authors:
John Lewis-Stempel

Winner of the 2017 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for nature writingThe natural history of the Western Front during the First World War'If it weren't for the birds, what a hell it would be.' During the Great War, soldiers lived inside the ground, closer to nature than many humans had lived for centuries. Animals provided comfort and interest to fill the blank hours in the trenches - bird-watching, for instance, was probably the single most popular hobby among officers. Soldiers went fishing in flooded shell holes, shot hares in no-man's land for the pot, and planted gardens in their trenches and billets. Nature was also sometimes a curse - rats, spiders and lice abounded, and disease could be biblical.But above all, nature healed, and, despite the bullets and blood, it inspired men to endure. Where Poppies Blow is the unique story of how nature gave the British soldiers of the Great War a reason to fight, and the will to go on.

Orion

Six Weeks

John Lewis-Stempel
Authors:
John Lewis-Stempel

The extraordinary story of British junior officers in the First World War, who led their men out of the trenches and faced a life expectancy of six weeks.During the Great War, many boys went straight from the classroom to the most dangerous job in the world - that of junior officer on the Western Front. Although desperately aware of how many of their predecessors had fallen before them, nearly all stepped forward, unflinchingly, to do their duty. The average life expectancy of a subaltern in the trenches was a mere six weeks.In this remarkable book, John Lewis-Stempel focuses on the forgotten men who truly won Britain's victory in the First World War - the subalterns, lieutenants and captains of the Army, the leaders in the trenches, the first 'over the top', the last to retreat. Basing his narrative on a huge range of first-person accounts, including the poignant letters and diaries sent home or to their old schools, the author reveals what motivated these boy-men to act in such an extraordinary, heroic way. He describes their brief, brilliant lives in and out of the trenches, the tireless ways they cared for their men, and how they tried to behave with honour in a world where their values and codes were quite literally being shot to pieces.

Adrian Weir

Adrian Weir is a successful military history author.

Alan Clark

Alan Clark, educated at Eton and Oxford, read for the Bar but did not practise. He was the Tory MP for Plymouth Sutton (1972-1992) and for Kensington and Chelsea (1997-1999). He held various junior ministerial appointments in the Margaret Thatcher and John Major governments. He kept a regular diary, which was published in three volumes as IN POWER 1983-1992, INTO POLITICS 1972-1982 and THE LAST DIARIES 1993-1999. They were adapted for television by the BBC and shown in 2004. Clark died in 1999 of a brain tumour.

Alistair Horne

Alistair Horne was educated at Le Rosey, Switzerland, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He ended his war service with the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards attached to MI5 in the Middle East. From 1952 to 1955 he worked as a foreign correspondent for the DAILY TELEPGRAPH. In 1969 he founded the Alistair Horne research fellowship in modern history, St Antony's, Oxford. His numerous books on history and politics have been translated into over ten languages, he was awarded the Hawthornden prize (for THE PRICE OF GLORY) and the Wolfson prize (for A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE). In 1992 he was awarded the CBE; in 1993 he received the French Légion d'Honneur for his work on French history and a Litt.D. from Cambridge University; in 2003 he was knighted for services to Franco-British relations. He died in 2017.

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts is a biographer and historian of international renown whose books include EMINENT CHURCHILLIANS and SALISBURY: VICTORIAN TITAN (awarded the Wolfson Prize for History). His recent book NAPOLEON THE GREAT won the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoléon. Roberts is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Literature and Arts. He appears regularly on British television and radio and writes for a number of national newspapers.

Annie Jacobsen

ANNIE JACOBSEN is a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and an investigative reporter whose work has also appeared in The National Review and The Dallas Morning News. Her two-part series The Road to Area 51 was one of the most read in the Los Angeles Times Magazine. A graduate of Princeton University, Jacobsen lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.Follow Annie Jacobsen on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AnnieJacobsen.

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is the author of CRETE: The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize), STALINGRAD (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize), BERLIN: The Downfall, THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN (Premio La Vanguardia), D-DAY: The Battle for Normandy (Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal), THE SECOND WORLD WAR, ARDENNES 1944 (Prix Médicis shortlist) and ARNHEM: The Battle for the Bridges. The number one bestselling historian in Britain, Beevor's books have appeared in thirty-two languages and have sold just over seven million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received a number of honorary doctorates. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London. He was knighted in 2017.

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls has become known around the world as one of the most recognised faces of survival and outdoor adventure. He spent three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, serving with 21 SAS. It was here that he perfected many of the skills that his fans all over the world enjoy, watching him pit himself against Mother Nature. His TV show, MAN VS WILD/BORN SURVIVOR, became one of the most watched programmes on the planet with an estimated audience of 1.2 billion. He also hosts the hit adventure show RUNNING WILD on NBC in America, as well as THE ISLAND WITH BEAR GRYLLS for Channel 4 and MISSION SURVIVE WITH BEAR GRYLLS for ITV in the UK. He has authored a number of fiction and non-fiction books, including the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, GHOST FLIGHT, and the number one bestseller, MUD, SWEAT & TEARS.Find out more at www.beargrylls.com or follow him on Twitter @BearGrylls

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson is the author of five critically acclaimed books including the Sunday Times bestselling EMPIRE OF THE DEEP and WHAT PRICE LIBERTY?, for which he received a Somerset Maugham Award. He was born in 1980 and educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a first-class degree and an MPhil in history.

Bernard Ireland

Bernard Ireland has retired from the Ministry of Defence where he worked on a number of Anglo-French projects. Now a fulltime author, he is a fluent French speaker and an internationally acknowledged expert on military history. He is the author of Jane's Battleships of the 20th Century, Jane's Century of Naval Warfare, and Jane's Naval Aviation and The Mediterranean Campaign.

Bryan Perrett

Bryan Perrett left the army as a successful career officer to take up the pen as a full-time writer. Able to write to any brief (he was captioning picture-strips for schoolgirl comics at one point), he found his metier as a military historian and writer of good, fast, episodic, narrative popular histories. His many books, all founded on meticulous research from primary sources, find a wide popular readership. He is the bestselling author in the bestselling Cassell Military Classics series.

Bryn Hammond

Dr Bryn Hammond is a member of the Centre for First World War Studies, the British Commission for Military History and the Western Front and Gallipoli Associations. He is also joint convenor of the Imperial War Museum's History Group. He has written numerous articles about the First World War, and is a regular speaker on the subject.

Chloe Mayer

Chloë Mayer is a journalist, whose work has been shortlisted for several awards, including newcomer of the year and reporter of the year. She has lived and worked in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and now lives in east London, not far from where she grew up. THE BOY MADE OF SNOW is her first novel.

Christopher Robbins

Christopher Robbins is a well-known journalist who has written for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, THE OBSERVER, THE INDEPENDENT, THE TIMES and THE SUNDAY TIMES. He lives in London.

Colin S. Gray

Colin S. Gray is Professor Emeritus of Strategic Studies, University of Reading. He has published thirty books on strategic matters.

David James Smith

David James Smith was born in Hemel Hempstead in 1956 and has been a journalist all his working life. He writes for the Sunday Times Magazine.For more information visit www.davidjamessmith.net. Follow David James Smith on Twitter at https://twitter.com/htimssemajdivad and join him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/david.j.smith.7906.

David Morgan

David Morgan was awarded the DSC for his services in the Falklands War. He left the forces in 1991 and now flies commercial jets for Virgin Airways. A dedicated aerobatic pilot, he regularly flies at air shows.

Donald Thomas

Donald Thomas was born in Somerset and educated at Queen's College, Taunton, and Balliol College, Oxford. He was the author of numerous crime novels include two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories and a hugely successful historical detective series written under the pen name Francis Selwyn, as well as gritty police procedurals written under the name of Richard Dacre. He was also the author of seven biographies and a number of other non-fiction works, and won the Gregory Prize for his poems POINTS OF CONTACT.

Edward Paice

Edward Paice was a History Scholar at Cambridge and winner of the Leman prize. After a decade working in the City he spent four years living and writing in East Africa, and was the author of the first guidebook to newly independent Eritrea. He was awarded a Visiting Fellow by Magdalene College, Cambridge in 2003-4 and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He lives in Kent.