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which are delivered in a very easily readable staccato reminded me of all the graves I ...
on 22 July 2014
I have been a very regular visitor of the WW1 battlefields in France and Flanders for 30 years now. I study the subject intensively. In fact I am in the midst of a visit as I write this.
Yesterday I sat down on a park bench that stands isolated near the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme. The place was almost deserted at that particular moment so I took this book out and started to read.
The very poignant remarks about the courage of these men, which are delivered in a very easily readable staccato reminded me of all the graves I just walked past during the warm summer afternoon it was (as the famous and fateful day in 1916).
You can't read about every man lost in that war. Even if there would be a complete biography of every man in this particular selection of outstanding men (having rugby as on of the defining denominators) it would never pack a punch like the one this book does.
As I am a woman I can state that you do not need to be a man to immediately love this book. The fact that quite a few of the men were physicians made me feel an immediate connection as I am a 43 year old physician myself. Still, even if you have nothing I common with any of these men, but you want to read about a number of men who fell in the Great War, want to feel that there is a story behind each and every stone or cross on every cemetery that came forth out of it, this might be the book to start with.
I had goose bumps first and after that I cried a little, both not regular occurrences for this experienced doctor, used to seeing a lot of sad things at any given time.
That is, I suppose the punch this book can pack under the right circumstances.....