BLOODIED but UNBOWED
Few of the stories brought to light by the centenary of WW1 are as fascinating and eye-opening as this one. Based on the story of his father's experiences in the First World War, some ten years research led to the writing of this book. As thousands of fit men were being rejected by the Army because they were not tall enough, ",Bantam", units were formed to make use of this otherwise wasted source of manpower. This book does not follow the normal format of the usual novel. It does not develop round a character (or characters) but follows a group of volunteers from training through to their destruction on the Somme. Two survivors after recovering from their wounds take part in the blowing-up of Messines Ridge. Surviving unscathed, they are sent tp Passchendaele with all its horrors. The main character suffers more wounding, this time by machinegun fire and also gas poisoning. Back in England, he is assessed as unfit for further active service. This is not surprising as he now suffers from shellshock as a result of the massive explosions along Messines Ridge. Despite his sufferings during the war, the main character (in real life) lived till he was 70.
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