November 2008 sees the 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War, 'the war to end all wars' that still haunts and fascinates in equal measure. Richard van Emden's new book tells that story as never before through the words and pictures of the men who were there. The Soldier's War includes incredible never-published-before letters and photographs to reveal the true stories of a lost generation.
The Soldier's War traces the war chronologically, taking stories from each year of the fighting and following the British Tommy through devastating battles and trench warfare to the armistice in 1918. The book also reflects on other lesser-known and more personal aspects of the war, such as the work of stretcher-bearers, army chaplains, and burial parties.
Each chapter will begin with an exploration of the soldiers' post-war attitudes to an emotive and controversial aspects of the conflict. What were their attitudes towards the enemy? What did the troops at the front line really think about their generals? Did they remember their time in the war with any fondness?
Central to The Soldier's War are the original and as-yet-unseen photographs that punctuate the narrative. Many soldiers carried lightweight VPK cameras (Vest Pocket Kodaks) and used them (illegally) to photograph the war as it unfolded. Between seventy-five and a hundred remarkable images will for the first time show trench-warfare as it really happened.