Soldiers : Fighting Men's Lives, 1901-2001

3.16 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 301 pages
  • 156 x 245.9 x 40.9mm | 789.26g
  • ISIS Publishing
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Large type / large print
  • Large Print edition
  • 0753197405
  • 9780753197400

Review Text

Philip Ziegler's latest book provides a fascinating insight into the experience of war for 20th-century British soldiers. It does so by recounting the biographies of nine Chelsea pensioners whose lives span the century, during which they variously fought for their country in its traumatic conflicts from Ypres to Indonesia. Ziegler is concerned to identify the sentiments which, within living memory, have inspired young men to pay the ultimate price in service of the nation's causes; what compelled them to obey orders in moments of extreme danger; and what generated in them supreme loyalty to comrades, regiment and sovereign land. His subjects range from Albert Alexandre of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry and the Royal Artillery, who was only 16 when he saw action at Passchendaele during the First World War, to Leonard Pearson of the Royal Engineers who was engaged in demolition work behind the Japanese lines in Burma. In all of these vivid stories, the hierarchies of army life, the sheer horror of war and the anxiety about fidelity of wives and sweethearts back home come across with great power. So too the humour of the trenches, the comradery fostered in extremis and the loyalty forged amid the shared experience of killing and being killed. Ziegler has written a perspective, informative and often moving account which succeeds in conveying the meaning of great conflicts in highly personal terms. (Kirkus UK)show more

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6 ratings
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