Where Poppies Blow
By 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.
We Gave Our Today
By William Fowler
The Lost Voices of our 'Forgotten Army' in the war with Japan 1941-45.Nearly a million strong by 1944, the British 14th Army fought and ultimately conquered the Japanese forces that invaded Burma and strove to break through into India. But the victory was hard won, with great suffering along the way. With priority given to defeating Germany, these troops were last in line for additional men and equipment, and they joked about being "The Forgotten Army." Here is the story of these remarkable soldiers, whose monument at Kohima reads: 'When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.'
We Will Remember Them
By Max Arthur, Clive Mantle, Patience Tomlinson
11am, 11.11.1918: the war is finally over. After four long years Britain welcomed her heroes home. Wives and mothers were reunited with loved ones they'd feared they'd never see again. Fathers met sons and daughters born during the war years for the very first time. It was a time of great joy - but it was also a time of enormous change. The soldiers and nurses who survived life at the Front faced the reality of rebuilding their lives in a society that had changed beyond recognition. How did the veterans readjust to civilian life? How did they cope with their war wounds, work and memories of lost comrades? And what of the people they returned to - the independent young women who were asked to give up the work they had been enjoying, the wives who had to readjust to life with men who seemed like strangers?Read by Clive Mantle and Patience Tomlinson(p) 2009 Orion Publishing Group