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Woodbine Willie: An Unsung Hero of World War One [Paperback]

Bob Holman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 Mar 2013
Woodbine Willie was the affectionate nickname of the Reverend Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, an Anglican priest who volunteered as a chaplain on the Western Front during the First World War. He won the Military Cross for his reckless courage, running into No Man's Land to help the wounded. This superb biography is based on original interviews with those who knew and loved him. A deep and real concern for his fellow men drove him relentlessly, and this book shows how vital was the role he played, on the battlefields of the trenches and then the slums. Bob Holman, described by the Daily Telegraph as 'the good man of Glasgow', has made a mission of living alongside the disadvantaged of British society. An accomplished writer, who contributes regularly to the Guardian, he is the author of several books.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Books (22 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745955614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745955612
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"Woodbine Willie was remarkable. After his years as an army chaplain, he campaigned against a social system that rewarded those returning from the trenches with poverty and indifference. No one is more equipped to recover the memory of this great and complex figure than Bob Holman." -- Richard Holloway, Former Bishop of Edinburgh "This is a fascinating tale of an inspiring figure." -- Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, London "Timely and well researched... well written. If you like a good biography with the sniff of cordite, this is not to be missed." Evangelicals Now

About the Author

Bob Holman, described by The Daily Telegraph as 'The Good Man of Glasgow', has made a mission of living alongside the disadvantaged of British society. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, and the author of several books.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By brendap
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I gave this book 5 stars because I have waited so long for Woodbine Willie to be given the recognition he deserves and Bob Holman is just the person to do it well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting biography 2 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good, but gets rather dry at times and tends to branch off into social analysis rather than biography. Could have been made into a more exciting human story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly honest and honourable man 5 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Less about the Great War than I expected, but certainly worthy of the reveiws I had read. He was indeed an astonishing human being with the author being equally sensitive and honest regards his strenghs and weakness's. My grandfathers death at the Somme 01/07/16 making it all the more relevant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a moving read about a great and unusual priest 13 May 2013
By Drwatts
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a well written stimulating account of the life of a radical and influential Christian minister who reached millions outside the doors of the Church in the trenches as a chaplain and after World War 1 as a wide ranging travelling speaker ..His message of the reality of the living Christ as one who suffered and died for us all regardless of our culture of class made a huge impact and is the same today .His insights on the senseless of war and means to bring reconciliation and peace are still much needed today.

Bob Holman has researched the book very thoroughly including talking to relatives and people who knew him and the book also forms a fine introduction Stoddert Kennedys writing -still very much worth reading today .
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious after subject's death 3 April 2014
Format:Paperback
The first half was good with WW struggling to match his beliefs in a merciful God with the horrors of war. But the rest of book became an exercise in tedious analysis, focusing on Christian principles and how they might be implemented as part of economic policy. The problem for WW was that while he presented the evils of social injustice and inequality very well he possessed no real strategy as to how to address them. He didn't, for example, believe in strike action, one of the key weapons of the working classes in pursuit of better pay and conditions etc. I'm afraid I skimmed quickly through the last twenty or thirty pages as I'd stopped learning anything about the hero of the story. A good book generally but too much waffle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 1 Jan 2014
By Kate
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am enjoying reading this new perspective on Woodbine Willie very much. I like Bob Holman's easy style and his insights.
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