We Will Remember Them
Voices from the Aftermath of the Great War
Date of publication: October 2009
For Britain and her empire, the human cost of the First World War was worse than any other conflict in history. Almost a million British people died in the war, with a further quarter of a million from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India and Africa. Almost twice as many again were injured in battle, and forced to live the rest of their lives with missing limbs, damaged lungs and mental disorders.
The legacy of the Great War was just as deeply felt as the war itself, and much longer lasting. An entire generation of children grew up without fathers. In some areas, women were doomed to a life of spinsterhood because there simply were not any young men left to marry.
Every community supported dozens of damaged men, sometimes the butt of cruel childish jokes, but more often the object of silent pity. Most managed to forge a life for themselves again, despite their disabilities, traumas and disfigurements. Many rebuilt relationships with their families that had been all but destroyed by their experiences of war.
We Will Remember Them is the story of these men and their families, told in their own words. It depicts the dying months of the Great War, when victory was close, but would still claim the lives of tens of thousands. It describes the joys and disappointments of triumph, the shock of homecoming, and the painful readjustment to ordinary civilian life.
And it shows how wives and children reacted to their men coming home - often mentally and physically scarred, sometimes virtual strangers. The aftermath of the Great War lasted for decades, and in some cases is still felt today. This book, by the bestselling author of Last Post, is a fitting tribute to those who have experienced its legacy.