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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, the last post for these ordinary men
What a marvellous, emotional read. Wonderfully put together by the author using his formula that works, of allowing these men to tell their story and memories in their own words.

It features the last 21 men, of which I think there is only one alive now, recalling not only the war but their lives. Therefore it is not only a historical tome, but a social...
Published on 5 Dec 2006 by Sarah

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23 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely disappointing and badly written - give it a miss
Having read as much as possible on the surviving Great War veterans I bought this book in eager anticipation of a good read. Having just finished it I am so disappointed with this work that I felt I had to comment.
The book is badly written and offers no context at all. Twenty out of the twenty-one interviews start with ‘I was born…’ and it seems...
Published on 21 Nov 2005


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, the last post for these ordinary men, 5 Dec 2006
By 
Sarah (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers (Paperback)
What a marvellous, emotional read. Wonderfully put together by the author using his formula that works, of allowing these men to tell their story and memories in their own words.

It features the last 21 men, of which I think there is only one alive now, recalling not only the war but their lives. Therefore it is not only a historical tome, but a social commentary as well. We have some men recalling the Titanic being sunk. One chap even recalls watching Newton Heath playing football, before they became Manchester United!

In relation to the war, a recurring theme is that it is not recalled fondly or romatically as some authors, historians and broadcasters try to do on occasions. It is recalled with pride of what they had to do at that time, but tempered with the realism of the horror and waste of it all, to the men, their families and communities and a whole generation and also to the economy and infrastructure of the countries including lost shipping and live stock, as all the stories point out their was hardly any mechanised transport at that time other than staff cars!

A lovely read and I highly recommend it but it is a shame that nearly 100 years on from the war to end all wars we have British servicemen being killed in futile conflicts overseas.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 30 Jan 2007
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This review is from: Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers (Paperback)
I echo the comments from the previous reviewer. This is a great read, and it's all their own words. The author has resisted the temptation to interperet or add to, or explain their words.

Not only do the men talk about the war, but they talk about their lives too. And for me that was equally as interesting because I've been tracing my family tree, and it gives you a small insite into the everyday lives of ordinary people at the turn of the last century.

It really is quite amazing how long these men have lived, and the thing that brought it home for me was the fact that some of them had outlived their own children!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An education, 24 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This beautiful, vivid and poignant book deserves a wide audience and should be force-fed to every hoody wearing ASBO collecting yob. In their own words, 21 WWI veterans describe their experience of the great war.
This is not a book about facts, dates and statistics. It is macro social history of the uppermost important at the mirco level. It's about real people, normal in almost everyway, who gave so much. It was a humbling read.
Max Arthur through the words of 21 hero's (most now dead) provides a fitting testament to those lost during 1914-1918.
It also highlights what happened after the war, how life continued forever changed.
Reading this book, one is sad not because so many young men died, that is true (Lord Denning said Britain lost its finest men during the war) but because we have forgotten so much about what is important, about being good citizens, about duty, honour and friendship. It is not good enough to mock "not like the old days".
Read the book and decide for yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly touching, 8 Aug 2007
This review is from: Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers (Paperback)
As an amateur student of military history, this book was always going to be picked up by my interest-radar, and I'm so glad it was. Much is written in history books of the battles, leaders, weaponry etc, but little is usually written about the experiences of the man on the ground.

This book was a wonderful idea - interview the remaining WW1 soldiers/sailors/airmen and publish it. The result is a goldmine of information about life in Britain at the turn of the last century and an insight into the misery of the trenches.

The old chaps who speak, are unfortunately now mostly gone, but if people of my age can read about their exploits with a tear in the eye from the comfort of a warm home in a free country, then their lives and their sacrifices mean just that bit more.

Some of them are bitter about the Great War and some more bitter about how no one seems to have learned anything because we still plunge ourselves into pointless foreign conflicts where, as usual, the poor guy in uniform suffers the greatest. Most however, pay tribute to their pals from the line, miss their long-gone wives and look back on full and enjoyable lives once the war ended. They have my greatest admiration and respect. Loved the photos too - it turned a book almost into a personal account read by the men who were there, as if you were talking to them personally.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A foot in the door to military history, 27 Feb 2008
By 
S. E. Day "Greeny" (Cambs.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers (Paperback)
It would be easy to beleive that in order to enjoy this book you have to have more than a passing interest in the military or the first world war. You don't. This book is about people, and it is because of that I continued to read. These century old men were little more than children when they were recruited and their tales of war, work and family life are important snapshots of social history.
This book has sparked an interest for me and I will read Max Arthur's other books in the hope that they are as inspiring.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars where there's blame there's a claim?, 9 Nov 2007
By 
Mrs. D. L. Cox (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers (Paperback)
For the first time ever this year i bought a poppy.
that's because i read this book and "forgoten voices of the great war"by the same author.
we don't know we're born i am sure.
i wish that all those people who think they should be compensated for everything and complain about everything in life should be made to read this! I wont ever feel the same again.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very moving read, 4 Dec 2005
By A Customer
It is absolutely amazing that there are still, in 2005, any veterans at all of the First World War. I love the fact that the author, realising that the last few would soon be gone, raced around the country collecting their stories. He makes no secret of the fact that the men are grouped together by the accident of longevity, rather than anything else, but that does not make their stories any less powerful. Their stories are very moving indeed. These are not great heroes or famous men, but the ordinary soldiers whose courage and stoicism won what was meant to be 'the war to end all wars', and their modesty shines through the accounts. I liked the fact that the author recorded something about all of their lives too, and not just the war years, it gave it a valuable sense of context, and the photographs of the men – then and now – were very touching. For those who can find official military histories a bit overpowering, this is a wonderful book to take you straight to the heart and minds of those who were actually there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best oral history of WWI, 29 July 2009
By 
This review is from: Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers (Paperback)
With the passing of the last two veterans of the Great War, Henry Allingham and Harry Patch, I wanted to learn more about their lives and so I bought Last Post which I found fascinating. It not only had in their own words the lives of Henry and Harry, but nineteen other veterans who had lived to be over 100. They had all been born during Victoria's reign and had endured a tough childhood before going to France to fight. In their own words it creates a really vivid picture of a world that no one alive today can tell us about. I am so pleased that Max Arthur captured these precious memories. A tremendous book.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching Brilliance, 26 Nov 2005
By A Customer
I bought "The Last Post" by Max Arthur as a result of reading an extract in The Guardian. Not only is the book very touching but it approaches brilliance in its editorial style. Allied to some wonderful photographs, this is a "must have" for historians, whether WW1 is their bag or not. To think that these words are the recent reminicences of men over 100 years old is staggering. The writing is crisp and thought-provoking without taking anything away from what the veterens actually remember. The author is a very lucky man to have met these people. My only true recommendation is "buy it". An excellent record of a time nearly gone.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Post - a worthy tribute, 26 Nov 2005
By 
Anne Thomas (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
When I read Last Post I wasn't looking for 'history' - but for something more personal and emotional - and I was not disappointed. It gives a wonderful insight into the lives of these extraordinary survivors, and a real sense of the enduring loss they still feel for their friends who didn't return from the war. Their memories, still vivid, opened up an era before our own familiar times - these men have experienced so much and tell of a war of a kind we today find hard to imagine. I know one of the men died recently, age 109 - and it gives even greater poignancy to his account in the book.
In addition, the photos of the veterans, then and now, are brilliant. Last Post was a very moving read, and has given me a lot to think about
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Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers
Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers by Max Arthur (Paperback - 14 Sep 2006)
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