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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 June 2009
Read and enjoy. Immensely moving and thought provoking. The tragedy of our young men at war in such conditions can never fade from the memory. Books like this will remain essential reading for many generations to come.
I was very impressed with the blog edition of this book. I did not take part in the event but feel it was a very good way of getting a younger generation on board with history. Many soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have used the internet as a way of writing home or blogging their diaries. Like our earlier generations, also equal in progressing technology, our soldiers would have embraced todays technology as we have.Those of you wishing to continue an interest in this subject should read 'A very unimportant Officer' and 'for love and courage'. These two books have similarities with Harry's war especially the things dear to them, home and home comforts such as food parcels and letters.
I would also suggest reading 'Tommy's war',this particular diary has been written by a chap who couldn't fight and was constantly turned down by the board because of his health. The combined literature creates an extremely good insight into the war and the social problems it causes at home.
I wholeheartedly recommend all these books for the avid history reader as it really does give one an incredible insight to the past.
I know Harry would have been very proud of his grandson for bringing his war and the letters to life 90yrs on....well done and thank you for sharing it with the nation.
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on 12 June 2009
This book is based on a fascinating blog, started by Bill Lamin in which he posts his grandfather's letters home from WW1, 90 yrs to the day after they were written. I've been following the blog for a long time and couldn't wait for the book. It was well worth the wait. Not only is the book beautifully designed, it is a compelling and interesting read that gives an honest sense of one soldier's war experience. It is a timely publication that would make Harry Lamin proud. I expect to give copies of this to friends and family for Christmas this year. I can't recommend this book enough.
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on 11 May 2009
Followed the blog which was interesting in itself. The book provides a clear, easy to read account of one man's journey through one of the most horrific events of the twentieth century. Would recommend it in a instant to anyone interested in WW1.
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on 25 October 2009
I have read as many as 150 books on the Somme, and this chap just seemed to accept his lot, never complaining or talking badly about anyone.
A first class read.
Highly reccommended.
I always enjoy books which give personal insights of the conflict, rather than formal historical accounts.
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on 7 July 2009
Bill Lamin's 'Letters from the Trenches' is compulsory reading both for serious historians with an interest in the First World War and anyone who relishes a great human interest story. The periods of intense drama, combined with a rare insight into day to day life in, and out of, the trenches, shed rare light into a dark period of our recent history. This is history at its most challenging and powerful.
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on 27 June 2009
A wonderful and poignant work made even more so by the fact it was compiled simply by using family letters. Interesting how the writer seems to not want to tell those back home how bad things really were, always remaining optimistic. Should be compulsory reading in every school in Europe.
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on 14 April 2012
This is an interesting insight into one soldier's life in the Great War. It's a shame that the commentary is largely just repetitive speculation on the family. Far more could be made of either an explanation of the military context or social history of the time. I'm afraid that letters with just a few footnotes would have been as interesting.
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on 10 October 2009
Lovingly edited by his grandson, Lamin's description of life in the trenches is moving simply because it is so ordinary. His letters contain the mundane and extraordinary, like so many of us who are the grandchildren of these true heros, I found the letters compulsive, humourous and fascinating, and I resisted the temptation to check the end of the book to see whether he survived. This book has given me the push to go to flanders and pay my respects to those of my family, great uncles and cousins who fell in that most horrific of wars.
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on 16 April 2012
I see from the reviews that people mostly have enjoyed this book - but I diddnt (maybe it was just me?).

I expected fulsome descriptions of life in the trenches, but sadly not. The letters are often quite brief and matter of fact - the description comes from the editor/'author' of the book who pads out with the detail around the times the letter(s) were sent. There are lots of entries of 'battalion diaries' which are designed to be informative.... not easy to read !

There is no doubt that Harry was an amazing man who lived in a amazing time (Thank you for your sacrifices Harry) - I just don't think the book is amazing :(
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on 11 June 2009
A comprehensive book which brings to life ordinary letters from a ordinary soldier sent home during the great war. The author (the subjects grandson)has used period background info and extracts from the regimental war diary to put the letters into context. Excellant read, I followed the excellant blog and the book is even better.
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