Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Diaries of our troops trying to restore peace to Afghanistan
on 27 May 2013
Helmond: Diaries of Front Line Soldiers - Simon Weston
Simon Weston - a survivor of the Falklands War, has written the introduction to this extraordinary book. His notes help one to get a better picture of how and why the war in Afghanistan is being fought. Without it, going straight into the diaries of John Thornton, The OC, C Company, Iain Sutherland, Chris Fletcher, Rev. Stuart Hallam and then finally the diary of Ian Thornton (John's brother) would have been difficult to fully understand, especially if like me, you have no military background.
The diaries are so personal, so intimate; you can feel the writer's emotions pouring through their words. Reading John's words and then seeing them suddenly stop just after speaking to his mother and brother just days before he was killed in 2008 were particularly poignant.
All the other diaries tie in with this tragedy until we get to Ian Thornton's diaries written when he went to Afghanistan on 11 September 2011. It's so interesting to see how he found the area where John and other members of the UK forces had fought and some tragically died trying so hard to restore some kind of peace to this very complex country. I think what struck me the most about Ian's diaries was the fear that he would lose his life there and would leave his parents to grieve for not just John but also for him. It must have taken so much courage for the family to see him going back to the same area, but also the reward of finding that the place had found some calm and what soldiers had lost lives and limbs for was actually changing the face of Afghanistan to a more manageable place.
Thank you Linda, Pete & Ian and the other diarists for allowing us to share in these very private and emotional diaries. Losing John was a terrible tragedy, yet look what's been achieved in his name: a Trust Foundation for young people to achieve their dreams (through grants). This trust has helped so many young people already and will continue to do so, all in the name of a very brave soldier named John Thornton.