Boy Soldiers of the Great War and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Boy Soldiers of the Great... has been added to your Basket
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Boy Soldiers of the Great War Paperback – 8 Nov 2012

63 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.99
£0.01 £0.01
£8.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Boy Soldiers of the Great War + The Soldier's War: The Great War Through Veterans' Eyes + Sapper Martin: The Secret Great War Diary of Jack Martin
Price For All Three: £24.47

Buy the selected items together



Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; Revised edition (8 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408824728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408824726
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Should this have been allowed to happen? Richard van Emden's fascinating and distressing account ... shows how difficult it is to provide a simple answer. (Sunday Times)

Engaging, well-written and balanced. (The Times)

Excellent and even-handed. (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

The heartbreaking story of the boys, some as young as twelve, who fought and died in the trenches of the First World War, completely revised and updated in this new edition.


Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Maximus Petronius on 19 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An extremely well researched book about a very controversial issue that very people....even those who consider themselves to be Great War enthusiasts...know too much about. The issue is examined from the perspective of the boys themselves, the officers who commanded them, the War Office, the small group of MPs who fought so hard to get these young boys "out of the firing line" and the parents of the boys. This is a very moving...and often heart rending...book and a fitting tribute to all the young boys who gave up everything they had (including for so many of them their lives) to serve their King & Country in that terrible conflict. This "must read" book would be a very worthy addition to anyone's personal library of books about the Great War.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stedders on 24 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very enjoyable read, well contextualized and able to hold my attention throughout. Sensitively written and containing a good balance of sources which were both informative and, in many cases, quite wonderfully evocative of the period. The book was much more than just an itemization or collection of personal stories. The social and political context within which these boys were deployed to the Western Front is examined thoughtfully. Their participation in Active Service Overseas is revealed in often harrowing detail. I think this book deserves a wide audience, not just because of the poignant nature of the subject but also because it would serve to inform many about an issue which has all too often been treated to a superficial and purely emotional response in the past. The problem of juveniles in the armed forces was, and remains to people with an interest in The Great War, a difficult and complex matter. Not only has the author treated us to many illuminating insights but has managed to do that in a clear and dispassionate way which never patronizes or demeans his subject. Lucid, informative and well written.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating and well-researched account of the very large number of boy soldiers who fought and in many cases died during the First World War. It focuses on those who were boys by the military standards of the time, which said that no one under the age of 19 should be fighting overseas (in this context it is worth remembering that the age of majority at this time and for over fifty years afterwards was, of course, 21). During the early years of the war, the rule was routinely breached, as boys as young as 13 (in the extreme case of George Maher) enlisted, though the majority of underage boys enlisting were 16-17. They were motivated by a mixture of feelings: patriotism; peer pressure or guilt at not doing their bit; the bravado of extreme youth; the desire for adventure and excitement; or a simple escapism from humdrum everyday life - many recruits from poor backgrounds had a much better diet, exercise and a sense of purpose in the army. So how were they able to get away with enlisting so young, when it must have been obvious in many cases that they were not the age they claimed to be? A combination of reasons - simply lying so they could fulfill one or more of the motivations above, especially with boys who were strong or tall; manpower shortages in the pre-conscription phase meaning that anyone willing to fight and not obviously decrepit was not turned away; combined with the perverse incentive caused by the bonus that recruiting sergeants and doctors conducting medical examinations received for every recruit admitted.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Ball TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
I remember years back going on a school trip to Flanders and visiting the WWI battlefields and cemeteries. At Essex Farm standing in front of the grave of a fourteen-year-old soldier, I remember not being able to grasp that this kid, who was my age at the time, had gone into battle, gone into that hell and gone over the top and been killed and at fourteen.

This book really just reinforces that whilst that soldier may have been particularly young, there were thousands and thousands of under-age soldiers in the First World War, kids who joined up and lied about their age. A lot were sixteen or seventeen, but some were fourteen and a few even younger. One was twelve. Twelve. It's just hard to grasp. By some estimates up to 10-15% of all 1914 enlistments were under-age.

This is a wonderful book, including a lot of testimony in their own words from surviving soldiers who had enlisted under-age. It really brings to light just how many of these boys there were, but it's all so tremendously sad. And it makes you look at kids today, at my own generation, and realise that we could never have done that. Sorts the men from the boys, indeed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mauveone on 7 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had no idea about the boy soldiers of the First World War. I had been at a local Art Exhibition, there was an exhibit showing the Statue that has been placed at the Memorial Gardens in Staffordshire, it showed a 16 year old blindfold by a rag, as he waited to be shot by men in his troop. All of them had been given 'strong drink' by the Captain and the Padre the evening before.

I wanted to find out more.... The book is comprehensive, with lots of stories about the boys and their families. Strangely, given the subject is not morbid. In parts it is distressing, bringing home the awfulness of War.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback