A handsomely illustrated photographic account, by the bestselling author of 'Tommy', of the human experience of war as directly witnessed by British soldiers in the First World War.
Richard Holmes, one of Britain's best-known military historians (and President of the British Commission of Military History), has selected over 200 photographs taken for the most part by officers and men rather than by official photographers - mostly unfamiliar ones located in archive collections, regimental museums and private sources.
The book will deal with the whole of the British Army's experience of the First World War - Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and so on - and not just on the Western Front. The photographs will be grouped thematically as extended picture essays; topics include the pre-war army and mobilisation of 1914; the contribution made by nurses; medical treatment and the wounded; infantrymen and their weapons; the campaign in Mesopotamia and more.
Like 'Tommy', the book is about people rather than things, about the human experience of war rather than its strategy or tactics, and at least as much about the everyday or commonplace - a latrine here or a plate of bully beef there - as about the lofty or portentous. It shows us the dirt beneath the fingernails of history.
Richard Holmes is a celebrated military historian and television presenter, famous for his BBC series 'War Walks' and 'Wellington'. His bestselling and widely acclaimed books include 'Redcoat', 'Tommy', 'Sahib' and 'Dusty Warriors'. He taught military history at Sandhurst for many years and is now Professor at Cranfield University and The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. His latest book (Harper Press, May 2008) is 'Marlborough: England's Fragile Genius'.