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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A picture of a forgotten time, 23 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. M. Parker "Bluegrasser" (Farnborough, Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Somme: The Most Devastating Battle of the Great War in the Words of Those Who Survived (Paperback)
I have read much of the writings of the Great War, some good and some bad, but there is a special quality in the memories who were there and experienced the horrors and the companionship of the trenches. I read the book upon returning from a further visit to the Western Front, always a moving experience for me, and these memories of ordinary men who survived extraordinary times threw a vivid light on the places seen and the times I had tried to visualise on the ground,
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful testimony to the brave men who fought on the Somme, 15 Jan 2010
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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There are many books out there that contain soldier's recollections of the First World War, so why read this one? What sets it apart from the rest?

Firstly, as suggested in the title, the book focuses solely on the battles that took place on the Somme. Whereas other `recollective' style First World War books tend to focus on the entire war, this book gives a comprehensive account of soldier's experiences that fought solely on this particularly brutal front.

Secondly, I found that this book made me laugh at several points when soldiers recounted comical experiences and situations. Some books structured in this manner don't always contain humorous entries and whilst interesting, are often depressing reads. The author has cleverly selected and balanced the entries which he has included in this book, resulting in an end product which highlights the futility of the offensive, but also shows the soldiers in all their glory as human beings - flawed and vulnerable.

I really enjoyed this book, it certainly manages to convey the human aspect of trench warfare and it has the ability to stir powerful emotions as you progress through it. This book does not contain multiple maps or endless technical detail surrounding `which battalion engaged the enemy on which date' etc. It is a lasting testimony and valuable record of the experiences of many normal, frightened but ultimately brave men who fought in these dreadful battles.

Recommended to anyone with an interest in the First World War and trench warfare.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts a very human face on one of the world's most devastating battles, 7 Nov 2008
By 
Big Mike (Bradford, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I read and was very deeply moved by the first book in the "Forgotten Voices" series - "Forgotten Voices of the Great War". With a life-long interest in and appreciation for world history, especially that of the First World War, often also referred to as The Great War, this new book, "Forgotten Voices of the Somme" is a most welcome addition to a fine series. It, like the first book on The Great War, does not weigh us down with facts and figures, but tells the story through the recorded words of those people who actually were there and who survived to relive their experiences for us. Men and women, officers and enlisted men, civilians, all from both sides of the conflict share their varied views of a horrific war and battle with us. It is thankfully as close to actually being there in the muddy trenches, fighting the enemy, the weather, the rats and feeling the fear of dying at anytime as we will ever get. A must read and very highly recommended.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight to the lives of those fighting the war., 11 Jan 2010
By 
David (Hampshire,UK) - See all my reviews
This is a brilliant book.I have always been interested in the First World War and this book gives you a real insight to those who lived day to day in the trenches of the Somme.You can never know what it was like unless you were there but you can get a feeling of it from this excellent book.

I think people of all ages will get something from this book.It's about everyday bravery in terrifying conditions and not about those who got medals.All I can say is read it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another top rate book in the collection, 18 Jan 2012
This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Somme: The Most Devastating Battle of the Great War in the Words of Those Who Survived (Paperback)
I have read and own most of the forgotten voices books and even the CD's and again I cannot fault any part of them. I have a relation that died on the first day of the Somme and to read what he would have experienced if only for a brief moment really makes you think. This book makes your heart beat faster as the moment of going over the top comes. It really makes you feel as if you are standing along side anyone of the heros who died or the heros who returned. This collection of books should be handed out to every school in Britain so that they will not forget what so many brave men and women died for. Maybe it will teach them a bit respect that they seem to be lacking these days. I bet during history lessons there will not be a sound and even a few tears. I cannot wait for the next one to come along.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and humbling, 12 Nov 2010
By 
Marand (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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I have no interest in military history but am fascinated by social history. I have struggled through more academic books on the first world war but read this one through in one sitting. The approach, providing a brief introduction to each section describing the events but then leaving it to quotes from those who participated to tell the story, works wonderfully. There is a great sense of immediacy. The entries cover the whole gamut of emotions: fear, terror, courage, pathos, stoicism, relief, exhaustion, anger and even humour (the story of a farmer & his cow falling through a camouflaged net covering a gun emplacement raised a smile amidst all the gloom). The comments are all drawn from records held in the Imperial War Museum sound archive. At the end of the book, one of the soldiers whose story has appeared throughout explains "Just as its not fashionable now to talk about war - it wasn't then. It's a very strange thing. I've never told any of these stories to anybody before; people just don't want to know." I think it is marvellous that we still have these records, to remind us today of the appalling carnage and loss of life on the Somme.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 10 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Somme: The Most Devastating Battle of the Great War in the Words of Those Who Survived (Paperback)
I bought this as we were visiting the Somme on holiday in France and I read it just before we went. It put a lot of what we saw into perspective and made the visits to places like Thiepval and Loghnagar Crater more real and meaningful. A very moving and at times entertainlng book. More than just history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and captivating.., 9 April 2014
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Somme: The Most Devastating Battle of the Great War in the Words of Those Who Survived (Paperback)
This is a fascinating and thoroughly captivating book about the battle of the Somme from the men who witnessed and fought it. The stories some of these men had to tell were interesting to say the least - not all of them were doom and gloom. There was a lot of camaraderie and trust.

I learnt a lot about the battle from this book and it was far more interesting than reading a text book style book full of facts and figures.

I actually found myself laughing at some parts of the book through the wit these men had. These men might have been petrified but they never lost their spirit and they were patriotic right until the very end.

You have to have a lot of respect for the men who were willing to share their stories with us and for those who weren't able to. I feel honoured to have been able to have read it from the view points of the people who were actually there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 31 Jan 2014
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I love reading about WW1 and this was ok but also the life prior and after this battle and the soldiers insight to how they coped from the Private, NCO's and the odd Officer
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 22 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. Frank S. Warburton (surrey uk) - See all my reviews
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This book was a great read ,it gave you a insight into what those brave men had to put up with.It also remind you what a waste of life.
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