Monday, 25 June 2018

Last Orders!

Some time ago, I wrote a book.

I mean, another book. I've written several, so far. But this one, this particular book, was special.

It was special because I had a real passion for it, a burning desire to write it, to reveal something I thought people ought to know, to tell a story no-one else (as far as I knew) had ever told.

It was a war book, but not about the war. It was a book about the Great War, and what happened afterwards. Not the politics, not the treaties or the conferences, the reparations, the global consequences.

This book was about the men who died, and whose graves are that 'corner of a foreign field' now marked - not with the 'crosses, row on row' but with the bright, white, Portland headstones of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission.

Visitors to the battlefields - relatives, tourists, school kids on study visits - often overlook the fact that these iconic monuments to the dead and missing had to be made. And - in the case of the graves - dug.

Bodies had not only to be buried, but exhumed from hasty battlefield burials, examined carefully so that any scrap of identification could be established, then re-interred with dignity, and a little more ceremony.

And the men who did this were the same men (by and large) who'd spent two, three or even four years fighting. They stayed aboard for up to three years searching, step-by-step, digging, examining, burying. All for an extra 2/6 per day. Or all out of a sense of immense duty, before they finally went home, to the men who would never return.

Now, finally, this book is about to be published. Published - after a crowdfunding campaign - by Unbound. In just five days, the list of subscribers (to whom I am immensely grateful) will be closed and the book will go through the final checks and processes before being sent to the printers.

So, if you haven't yet subscribed and you'd like to see your name in the back of a special, hardback, subscriber edition, then you have until midnight on July 1st to pledge. All the proceeds from pledges (apart from a few contributing to forces' charities) go direct to the editing, checking, designing, printing and distributing of the book itself. Nothing goes to me, personally.

Simply click here, and take your pick of the many pledges still available.

The five-year journey is almost at an end.



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