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31 Reviews
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 (18)
4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
A great read. Diane Atkinson exposes the realities of the sacrifices these two courageous women made to care for the soldiers during WW1. She captures their spirits, their drive and determination. Not only did they make do, they made it happen, right there on the front line. I shared their highs and lows, the fun, the horrors, the glory, romance and the sadness they...
Published on 22 July 2009 by Donna Smith

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3.0 out of 5 stars BIT OF A STRUGGLE
I have read well over 200 books covering WW1 & WW2 and having read the narrative on the cover I had high expectations of a gripping story about two brave women nursing soldiers at the front. These women were undoubtedly brave , if not a little eccentric , however the narrative seemed to be constantly bogged down with lots of tedious details of who was related to who and...
Published 4 days ago by Dave


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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 22 July 2009
By 
Donna Smith (Nottingham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A great read. Diane Atkinson exposes the realities of the sacrifices these two courageous women made to care for the soldiers during WW1. She captures their spirits, their drive and determination. Not only did they make do, they made it happen, right there on the front line. I shared their highs and lows, the fun, the horrors, the glory, romance and the sadness they experienced.
The follow-up, after the war years, rounds off this read. How difficult it must have been to reintegrate into society after having such purpose in life. Turning the last page I felt I had known these women and shared something of their lives. It is a very personal biography. Highly recommended.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read about real people, 24 July 2009
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C. Ingram (london) - See all my reviews
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This is a fascinating history of the lives of two extraordinary women who gave so much of themselves in the First World War. I am not a fan of war history, but I heard the author on Radio 4 describing the lives of Elsie and Mairi. The book details their lives up to to the war and beyond. It is full of intricate details about what they did during the war and how they coped afterwards. The author gives great insight into the traumas that Elsie and Mairi witnessed and the friendship that developed during the war and could not be sustained in peacetime. A really good read about real people.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and inspiring, 23 July 2009
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Nicola Gooch "tap queen" (London, uk) - See all my reviews
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I read this book in one sitting late into the night. It's a fantastic story of two extraordinary women who defied everything and everybody standing in their way to live their lives to the full. Their selfless courage in the Inferno of the WWI trenches is balanced by their almost camp Britishness resiliance, holding polite tea parties while the bullets whizzed around their heads and punting in a bomb crater as if they were having a day out on the River Cam. It's an absorbing and inspiring story told with gratifying attention to detail, sensitive emotional insight, warmth and humour. Elsie and Marie were inspirational and this book is a really good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Women of Immense British Grit, 4 Mar 2010
Two products of a long lost time in British history, these women aroused a feeling of affinity in me when I read that they were a couple of the earlist motorcyclists in the UK and pursued the pastime and sport as enthuiastically as I do now. That is where any similarity ends, for they were extraordinarily courageous pioneers on a monumental scale. That there are not towns and cities named for them, that every school child does not know their names or of their astonishing selflessness, shames us all.

17 medals for gallantry - each. Never enough for two women who were, 'til very recently, amongst us to be feted and held up to this generation as examples of the humble heroics that came so easily to them in the carnage and horror of WW1 slaughter
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised to find this book, 3 April 2010
By 
Mrs. Linda A. Barnes (London, England) - See all my reviews
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My husband went to a lecture expecting it to be on a completely different subject but it was about these two ladies, who previously we had never heard of but he found them interesting and wanted to know more. The following day I saw this book advertised on your website and I ordered it immediately. The book answered a lot a questions that the lecture had raised and not answered but there is still an air of intrigue about them and probably a lot we will never know.
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3.0 out of 5 stars BIT OF A STRUGGLE, 23 Dec 2014
I have read well over 200 books covering WW1 & WW2 and having read the narrative on the cover I had high expectations of a gripping story about two brave women nursing soldiers at the front. These women were undoubtedly brave , if not a little eccentric , however the narrative seemed to be constantly bogged down with lots of tedious details of who was related to who and where they were living etc. the initial chapters were a barrier to be broken through to get to the main event. The book picks up in the middle with a steady flow of information about the ladies war years only to become bogged down again with incessant details of what happened to the family in the post war years. The three stars I have given reflect the struggle to get through the narrative and is no way a reflection of these ladies exploits. I think the ladies story is one worth hearing therefore it's a pity that its been told in a style that has made many other reviewers give up on it before reaching the end of the book.If you want to read a good book about nursing in a war zone I can highly recommend Tabea's story by Betty J Iverson ( albeit set in WW2 ).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Elsie and Mairi Go to War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front (Kindle Edition)
This is a well written account, in a modern style, of these two intrepid ladies but seems to spend a lot of time on their romantic exploits rather than on the work they did at the front. If you haven't read about them before I can recommend the book as an introduction to them and the valuable work done by the 'Ladies of Pervyse'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Account of aspects of the Great War, 12 July 2013
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Read it once but that was not enough, I had to read it again. The exploits of these two courageous women during WW1 are enthralling
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elsie and Mairi go to War, 11 May 2012
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A very well researched book and great use of the original source material mixed with wider WWI sources to add context. And a smooth quick read too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elsie and Mairi sound wonderful ladies!!, 30 Oct 2009
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I have read several WW1 books, including the good old favourites, but also take an interest in the marginal history, Conscientious Objectors, Boy Soldiers, Executed Soldiers, etc. This book caught my eye for similar reasons, the memoirs of heroines who were not actively fighting.
This book is a very good read. It describes the ladies backgrounds, personalities and their efforts to lead some semblance of a personal life in terrible times whilst carrying out heroic and defiant actions.
This should be reading in any school literature curriculum about bravery in the face of adversity and what a waste all wars are.
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