Top positive review
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A welcome attempt to portray the Great War experience of the private
on 27 January 2016
Quite an endearing book written from someone who served on the Western Front in 1916, focusing on the experiences of the privates. Trying hard to find some comfort in seeking out alcohol and food beyond the standard army grub, and their experiences of dealing with the French population As mentioned in early reviews, there are some passages in French left untranslated in the text.
.The comradeship that develops becomes important as the men eventually experience the full extent of the fighting.
There are no scenes focusing on leave- and the books opens with the men already in France. The fact that privates' lives seems so controlled by army regulations adds to the sense of fatalism, and entrapment. Though chapters start with Shakespeare quotes, there is a lack of drama, and more emphasis on the monotony of army life.
'Her Privates We' doesn't attempt to answer the wider questions of why the war was fought. Seems a different war compared with (say) Sassoon's 'Memoirs of an Infantry Officer ' And now that the 'disenchanted' view of the Great War seems set to be popular with another generation, it would be interesting to see if this book returns to favour during the Centenary years as seems quite understated in some respects.
But overall a welcome attempt to portray the Great War experience of the privates who fought.