Forgotten Voices of the Great War

Forgotten Voices of the Great War This Unique Landmark Oral History Uses First Hand Accounts From Ordinary Men And Women Who Were There Gripping, Poignant, Surprising And Even Humorous, The Personal Experiences Of These Soldiers, Civilians, Marines And Medics From Both Sides Tell Us What It Was Really Like To Live Through What Was Supposed To Be The War To End All Wars Skilfully Assembled By Acclaimed Author And Historian Max Arthur Using The IWM S Remarkable Sound Archive, Forgotten Voices Of The Great War Became An Instant Classic On First Publication With Close To Half A Million Copies SoldIn , The Imperial War Museum Began A Momentous And Important Task A Team Of Academics, Archivists And Volunteers Set About Tracing First World War Veterans And Interviewing Them In Order To Record The Experiences Of Ordinary Individuals In War Since Then The Sound Archive Has Grown To Become The Largest And Most Important Oral History Collections In The World It Now Contains Over , Recordings, Including Interviews With Veterans Of Both World Wars Both Service Personnel And Non Combatants Recordings Relating To Britain And The Empire In The Inter War Period , Conflicts Since And The HolocaustIn , Ebury Press Published The First Edition Of Forgotten Voices Of The Great War It Was Both The First Time Many Of These Recordings Had Been Transcribed And Published, And The Only Comprehensive Oral History Of The First World War Twelve Further Books Covering Aspects Of The Second World War, The Falklands And The Victoria Cross Followed, Selling Well Over A Million Copies To Date

Max Arthur is an author who specialises in first hand recollections of historical events He has worked closely with the Imperial War Museum to bring together two books in the Forgotten Voices series, Forgotten Voices of the Great War and Forgotten Voices of the Second World War Prior to becoming a writer, he served with the Royal Air Force and for some years was an actor.

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  • Paperback
  • 322 pages
  • Forgotten Voices of the Great War
  • Max Arthur
  • English
  • 17 September 2017
  • 9780091888879

10 thoughts on “Forgotten Voices of the Great War

  1. says:

    So it seems that the Imperial War Museum cleverly started compiling a sound archive of the survivors of the Great War, resulting in a wealth of stories of people involved in the war in one way or another This archive includes the voices of belligerents from all sides, nurses, farm workers, and others Max Arthur mined this treasure trove to compile an account of the war as told by a representative cross section of people affected by this vast and prolonged conflict.The book is nicely structured, starting in 1914 and ending with the Armistice, all in chronological order If you re a Canadian and want to read about Vimy Ridge, you will go to the section on early 1917, Aussies can read about Gallipoli in an earlier chapter covering 1915 if you re American, you will have to wait until late in the book to read accounts by your countrymen Most excerpts are a page or less in length, and some sources are used than once In the pages you will meet amputees, soldiers who had to participate in firing squads to execute their mates, deserters, and soldiers home on leave who were given white feathers by bitches on buses All contributors are named, so you just might read the words of an ancestor in here.I don t know if the source material was sanitized, but there is a total absence of the type of startling rough language commonly associated with soldiery, and proper English seems to be used throughout, even when the contributor was a German soldier or a poilu From that, I think I m safe in making the assumption that these stories have been polished up a bit Even so, it s an excellent account of the Great War as seen by the common man and woman who were directly affected.

  2. says:

    I listened to the audio version, which is based on the book , although I m not sure how different the two are This was great, comprised almost entirely of interviews with former servicemen recorded by the Imperial War Museum mostly British, but with some Germans, French, Americans and a lone Aussie These are not the transcripts read by a professional narrator they are the actual interviews, with some very strong and rich regional accents which makes this especially powerful It also gives this the feel of a BBC Radio 4 documentary than a book With only the bare skeleton of a narrative, this won t tell you what happened, when, where or why Instead, it will give you a real insight into what it actually felt like to live in the trenches, to cower as artillery exploded, to go over the top , to survive as the next man was killed Includes some surprisingly candid interviews about fear, cowardice, and the prized Blighty Wound.

  3. says:

    Max Arthur s book Forgotten Voices of the Great War, is quite unique in that it s content is nearly all first hand accounts from people who experienced the horror of the Great War The author has utilized a number of tape recorded interviews conducted by the Imperial War Museum in 1972 Many of the tapes from the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive had been forgotten and left unheard for years Now Max Arthur has put together many of these unheard voices from the Great War to produce this spellbinding and captivating book I must admit that I was reluctant to buy this book as I was worried that a book full of short accounts would be too disjointed and really not detailed enough to satisfy my interest I can honestly say that I truly enjoyed reading this book Each chapter of the book was a year of the Great War and was commenced by an introduction by the author offering a brief run down on the major events of that year Then we heard from the men and women who participated in these events, from both sides of no man s land The author has concentrated mainly on the Western Front and Gallipoli and has tried to run the oral segments in chronological order.I was really taken by these segments and I found it hard to stop reading The accounts from these soldiers and civilians alike were at times humorous, strikingly direct, horrifying and on many occasions quite sad I was really taken in by these accounts and I don t think that any World War One library would be complete without this title sitting on the shelf I can honestly say that I learnt quite a few things from this book and I would place it along side such works offered by Lyn MacDonald Well done to the author and the Imperial War Museum for allowing these veterans, many now long dead, the last word on their experiences in the Great War This is a great book, you won t be disappointed.

  4. says:

    The horrors of the First World War are described in the words of those who experienced it.It is a compelling book which depicts the terrible conditions experienced by soldiers in trench warfare,some major battles,the staggering number of casualties,the use of gas and even the shooting of soldiers for desertion by their own comrades.These are raw accounts of the brutality of war which don t attempt to glamourize it.The book reminded of a war classic,All Quiet on the Western Front.

  5. says:

    A book that really sticks with you, even if you don t necessarily know the details of each of the battles mentioned Easy to pick up and put down but still a great flow to the book.

  6. says:

    Mind boggling first person stories of those who directly experienced the First World War From those who were shamed into enlisting, despite only being 15 17 years old, by girls who roamed British streets with feathers they shoved into the faces of young men, to stories by soldiers handcuffed to wagon wheels for days because they missed roll call Descriptions by those who experienced the waves of chlorine and mustard gas, with advice to urinate on their handkerchiefs or caps and hold them over their mouths in order to save their lungs Soldiers riddled with dysentery and drowning in their own excrement Soldiers home for brief leaves from the Front to families who saw the war as one big brave cavalry charge, as opposed to the reality of exhausted men huddled in muddy, lice infested trenches waiting for bombs to drop on them Conscientious objectors sentenced to be shot, then commuted to 10 years in prison Scared deserters who ran off to avoid conflict, only to be court martialed and then shot to death by their peers Combatants pending days and nights crouched in a concrete pillbox filled with two feet of muddy, filthy water, filled with excrement and the rotting bodies of enemy soldiers WW1 jolted the globe in dramatic ways, such that before and after inalterably changed mankind Traditional methods of warfare were utilized at the beginning, but by the war s end, fair play of military engagement was redefined in so many ways through airplanes, tanks and chemical warfare.That 100 years have passed only serves to underscore the significance of this event and its impact on our modern world This book provides a visceral reality check of this seminal event in our history It also gives reverence and a voice to the unquestionably courageous, inspirational men and women who persevered through his period in history, capturing their own unfiltered words and experiences for posterity.Highly recommend this.

  7. says:

    This was probably 3 1 2 I downgraded it because I kept finding myself wondering how much longer was this book I did get a little sad when it got October 1918, since my uncle did not survive that month.Voices included British, Australian, Canadian, German and even some Americans.My favorite comment by far was when two officers were waiting for the Armistice to be effective at 11 00 am And they wondered, after four years of war, what would they do now

  8. says:

    If you want to know exactly what it was like to be a front line soldier on both sides of the lines in WW1, then this is a must read It is filled with first hand accounts from the troops who fought and survived I wouldn t say lived in the horrific conditions of a war that became a stalemate for almost four years This book is extremely graphic It is also very important in understanding why so many came home scarred for life..It should be required reading for every high school history student.One of the best first hand accounts of the Great War.

  9. says:

    It is hard to tell about such a book that I liked what I were reading but it is a jewel I will treasure this book to the end of my life All this people who were talking to me through all these pages will be with me forever.These forgotten voices are so real I was with them in trenches, in mud I could feel their fear, courage, sadness, loneliness, hunger, cold Most of all I was and I am still mad at all those people who play the wars I have written play because I prefer to think that they people in power, politicians, generals and so on see a war like some kind of a play Otherwise, if they are fully conscious of the whole suffering, of each one dead human and they give still orders to fights, they aren t humans at all.Going back to the book, if you are interested in this period of history you must read it You don t have to know much about The Great War WWI I would say you can know nothing at all about battles, troop movements and so on You will not find much of these in this book This book is about the people who fought and struggle during those times Their thoughts, feelings, lives You will find here many facts that will shock and horrify you There are mostly the voices of the soldiers but there are also a few voices of ordinary people After reading it, you can understand why the world changed so much after WWI One couldn t be the same after those experiences And also one couldn t be the same after reading this book.

  10. says:

    Life and death in the trenchesActual first hand accounts from soldiers on both sides of the front This book is extremely graphic I think this book should be mandatory reading in highschool history.

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