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Elsie and Mairi Go to War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front Paperback – 4 Feb 2010
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"A compelling story of famous but forgotten heroines: two exceptional Edwardian ladies in the front line mud and mayhem of World War I" (Kate Adie)
"Diane Atkinson has uncovered the lives of two extraordinary women who brought medical comfort and relief to the wounded of World War I. Her book is as absorbing as it is thorough, as entertaining as it is warm-hearted. A terrific story" (Joan Bakewell)
"The true story of best friends Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm who, when the First World War broke out, set up a first aid post on the Western Front. Their courage frequently made the headlines in Britain and both were awarded medals for their bravery. This biography is a fitting tribute to their role on the frontline" (Charlotte Vowden Daily Express)
"A terrific, true story, brought vividly to life" (Mail on Sunday)
"Brilliantly readable" (Lancashire Evening Post)
The extraordinary and moving story of two women whose courage and charisma made them the most famous women in the First World War.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
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.
Dr Diane Atkinson's account is one which brings the people and events truly to life. For years, there's been an accepted narrative about the First World War. It centres on men; the officers plotted from safe positions behind the lines, the ranks did their duty and died. In their millions. But there's a great deal more to the events; new records and insight provide a different and very refreshing perspective. It's the people's voice and Atkinson's research and account is vibrant and accessible to any reader.
Elsie and Mairi went off to the Western Front to do their bit for the war effort. You must read the book to learn what, exactly, they did. Suffice to say that since this edition was published, the people of Ypres have recognised these two remarkable individuals and a bronze statute has been erected in their memory. Shame on Britain for not making their story more widely known. This is a rewarding and astonishing read and I enjoyed every page. Some amazing photos and it's fully indexed.
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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