The story of the children of British gardeners, who lived in Belgium to establish and tend the War Graves after the First World War, would not at first sight seem an attention grasping subject.
However the story of the foundation of this expatriot English community and the establishment of a British School to educate the children of English fathers and French or Belgian mothers provides the starting point for an extraordinarily detailed, fascinatingly documented and moving book.
From the description of the annihilation of Ypres in the First World War to the tales of amazing bravery of two of the children, who as adults played their part in the Resistance in the Second, the narrative of this compelling book gives as good an account as many broader histories of the two World Wars.
Seen through the eyes of the members of the Community the book evokes in a vivid way the variety of individuals, some good some bad some weak some strong, who populate this little society.
The book is a thoroughly entertaining read and, because the characters are brought so strongly to life, their very ordinariness gives a colour and poignancy to this remarkable history.