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Lyn Macdonald (1) (1939–2021)

Teoksen 1915: The Death of Innocence tekijä

Katso täsmennyssivulta muut tekijät, joiden nimi on Lyn Macdonald.

10 teosta 2,262 jäsentä 20 arvostelua 2 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

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Tekijän teokset

1915: The Death of Innocence (1993) 470 kappaletta
Somme (1983) 434 kappaletta
They Called it Passchendaele (1978) 349 kappaletta
1914 (1987) 251 kappaletta
To the Last Man: Spring 1918 (1999) 238 kappaletta
The Roses of No Man's Land (1980) 219 kappaletta
Ordeal By Fire (2001) 68 kappaletta
To the Last Man Poster (1998) 1 kappale

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It is hard to believe that this year, 2014, sees the 100 year anniversary of World War I. What is tragic is also the fact that there are now no more living veterans from that war; the last dying in 2012 at the age of 110. It is this last point that makes books like this an invaluable addition to any home bookshelf and library, as it pulls on interviews with those who were there. However, this is not the usual book on the Great War, as it does not just tell the tale of those who fought in the traditional sense, but also looks at the stories and experiences of those groups of unsung heroines, the Nurses.

Using extensive research this Author produces a compelling account of ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances. Ladies taken out of the security and safety of their drawing rooms and thrown into the horrors of war, men who traded in pitchforks for bayonets some who would never return and those who did, would return changed forever. This is a book full of poignant accounts of how these people watched, not only their peers die in the Great War, but also the world they knew and loved.

With great skill this Author is able to weave together the chronology of the war with firsthand accounts of the women who nursed these wounded and broken men. Not all the injuries they nursed were visible, some were hidden in the depths of the mind, making this a book that hand me drawing my breath as I read on.

As the majority of the accounts in this book are from the Nurses point of view, with some given by men in the position of doctors and orderlies, this book also highlights how, out of great suffering some important aspects of medical care were advanced. Each chapter also focuses on a different part played in evacuating the British Soldier from the frontline to the eventual hospital care they would receive if they made the journey alive; the reader is given accounts from the stretcher bearer in the dreaded No Man’s Land to the volunteers at the stations who changed pillow cases and lit cigarettes for the wounded, sometimes just holding a hand and talking to them, through to the final destination of these injured men.

It is by no means an easy read, and I found myself in awe at these women who would sometimes work up to 22 hours a day without complaint, and in such a matter of fact way it would put modern day medical staff to shame. Their living conditions were primitive and for many came as a huge shock when compared to the cosseted lives they had led up to the outbreak of war.

I have read many books about WWI but this has to be amongst the best I have read. It shows how courage can come in many forms and from the most unlikely people, but it also highlights the point that, although the war may have destroyed a generation of men, both mentally and physically, it actually played a large and important role in recreating the role of women in that time.

I would highly recommend this book to all readers regardless of whether they are avid WWI readers or not. We can learn a lot about attitude from this book.

As an afterthought I decided to add that a contemporary song was written as a tribute to the Red Cross Nurses at the front lines of the First World War ‘The Rose of No Man’s Land’ by Jack Caddigan and James Alexander Brennan, and I have included this below:

I've seen some beautiful flowers,
Grow in life's garden fair,
I've spent some wonderful hours,
Lost in their fragrance rare;
But I have found another,
Wondrous beyond compare.

There's a rose that grows on "No Man's Land"
And it's wonderful to see,
Tho' its spray'd with tears, it will live for years,
In my garden of memory.

It's the one red rose the soldier knows,
It's the work of the Master's hand;
Mid the War's great curse, Stands the Red Cross Nurse,
She's the rose of "No Man's Land".

Out of the heavenly splendour,
Down to the trail of woe,
God in his mercy has sent her,
Cheering the world below;
We call her "Rose of Heaven",
We've learned to love her so.

There's a rose that grows on "No Man's Land"
And it's wonderful to see,
Tho' its spray'd with tears, it will live for years,
In my garden of memory.

It's the one red rose the soldier knows,
It's the work of the Master's hand;
Mid the War's great curse, Stands the Red Cross Nurse,
She's the rose of "No Man's Land".


Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.com/2014/11/13/the-roses-of-no-mans-land-lyn-macdonald/





This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Melline | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 13, 2022 |
Few battles are as seared into the British historical consciousness as the battle of the Somme, the months-long offensive against the German trenches during the First World War. There the newly-trained divisions of "Kitchener's Army" suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties, all for advances that were often measured in yards. It was a baptism of blood, one that often depopulated villages back home of an entire generation of young men and left an indelible impression on the minds of its survivors.

Lyn Macdonald's book is a chronicle of the battle from the viewpoint of the British soldier. She begins by describing how so many of the soldiers came to be on the Somme battlefield, through their recruitment into the ranks in the weeks and months that followed the outbreak of the war. Many of them joined in groups, retaining a collective identity from their civilian life even after they put on the uniform. From there she details the meticulous preparations for the offensive, the training and planning that went into preparing these soldiers for a battle that its planners believed would break through the German lines and pave the way for victory.

The confident expectations were little match for the horrors of trench warfare, however. Instead of a dramatic breakthrough the British "Tommys" faced unrelenting slaughter, struggling to even make modest gains on the battlefield. In the weeks that followed the initial assault, the British high command threw division after division into the battle, hoping to achieve progress. Throughout each of these efforts, Macdonald captures the experience of combat - the dusty marches, the gory advances, and the reaction of the survivors to their experience. Such struggles continue, over and over, until the offensive petered out in mid-November, with Kitchener's Army all but spent as a fighting force.

Throughout the book Macdonald writes of the battle in gripping prose, supplemented throughout by a generous use of quotes from interviews with veterans who survived the battle. Together it combines to recount the experience in a manner that grabs the reader's attention, focusing it on the experience of the ordinary soldier and never letting go. Oftentimes the engagements can blur together; while this can make it difficult to distinguish one battle form another, it conveys something of the grinding nature of warfare on the Western Front. The broader strategy is also subordinated, something that further reflects the perspective of the average Tommy, who was unable to look past the enemy trenches. A more glaring absence, however, is the German side. While largely excluding the views and experiences of German soldiers helps to define them as the nameless, faceless "Jerries" that many British soldiers viewed them to be, it deprives readers of a valuable perspective of the battle, with the ability to establish just how unique the British experience was.

These criticisms should not deter anyone seeking to understand the battle of the Somme. Macdonald's book is an engaging account of this seminal battle, one that sustains its reader throughout the months of struggle and slaughter chronicled within its pages. It is unlikely to be bettered for the drama of its narrative, or for its ability to relate the battle as how the thousands of Tommys fought it - a valuable perspective that gives identity to the soldiers who are often reduced to mere numbers in all too many accounts.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
MacDad | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 27, 2020 |
An excellent account of the experience of being sick and wounded on the Great War Western Front, drawing extensively on primary sources and personal recollections to paint an engrossing picture of the combined military, civil and voluntary effort which brought Britain and its allies through the war from outbreak to aftermath. Almost as old as I am but still very good.
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
ManipledMutineer | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 31, 2019 |
It is hard to believe that this year, 2014, sees the 100 year anniversary of World War I. What is tragic is also the fact that there are now no more living veterans from that war; the last dying in 2012 at the age of 110. It is this last point that makes books like this an invaluable addition to any home bookshelf and library, as it pulls on interviews with those who were there. However, this is not the usual book on the Great War, as it does not just tell the tale of those who fought in the traditional sense, but also looks at the stories and experiences of those groups of unsung heroines, the Nurses.

Using extensive research this Author produces a compelling account of ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances. Ladies taken out of the security and safety of their drawing rooms and thrown into the horrors of war, men who traded in pitchforks for bayonets some who would never return and those who did, would return changed forever. This is a book full of poignant accounts of how these people watched, not only their peers die in the Great War, but also the world they knew and loved.

With great skill this Author is able to weave together the chronology of the war with firsthand accounts of the women who nursed these wounded and broken men. Not all the injuries they nursed were visible, some were hidden in the depths of the mind, making this a book that hand me drawing my breath as I read on.

As the majority of the accounts in this book are from the Nurses point of view, with some given by men in the position of doctors and orderlies, this book also highlights how, out of great suffering some important aspects of medical care were advanced. Each chapter also focuses on a different part played in evacuating the British Soldier from the frontline to the eventual hospital care they would receive if they made the journey alive; the reader is given accounts from the stretcher bearer in the dreaded No Man’s Land to the volunteers at the stations who changed pillow cases and lit cigarettes for the wounded, sometimes just holding a hand and talking to them, through to the final destination of these injured men.

It is by no means an easy read, and I found myself in awe at these women who would sometimes work up to 22 hours a day without complaint, and in such a matter of fact way it would put modern day medical staff to shame. Their living conditions were primitive and for many came as a huge shock when compared to the cosseted lives they had led up to the outbreak of war.

I have read many books about WWI but this has to be amongst the best I have read. It shows how courage can come in many forms and from the most unlikely people, but it also highlights the point that, although the war may have destroyed a generation of men, both mentally and physically, it actually played a large and important role in recreating the role of women in that time.

I would highly recommend this book to all readers regardless of whether they are avid WWI readers or not. We can learn a lot about attitude from this book.

As an afterthought I decided to add that a contemporary song was written as a tribute to the Red Cross Nurses at the front lines of the First World War ‘The Rose of No Man’s Land’ by Jack Caddigan and James Alexander Brennan, and I have included this below:

I've seen some beautiful flowers,
Grow in life's garden fair,
I've spent some wonderful hours,
Lost in their fragrance rare;
But I have found another,
Wondrous beyond compare.

There's a rose that grows on "No Man's Land"
And it's wonderful to see,
Tho' its spray'd with tears, it will live for years,
In my garden of memory.

It's the one red rose the soldier knows,
It's the work of the Master's hand;
Mid the War's great curse, Stands the Red Cross Nurse,
She's the rose of "No Man's Land".

Out of the heavenly splendour,
Down to the trail of woe,
God in his mercy has sent her,
Cheering the world below;
We call her "Rose of Heaven",
We've learned to love her so.

There's a rose that grows on "No Man's Land"
And it's wonderful to see,
Tho' its spray'd with tears, it will live for years,
In my garden of memory.

It's the one red rose the soldier knows,
It's the work of the Master's hand;
Mid the War's great curse, Stands the Red Cross Nurse,
She's the rose of "No Man's Land".


Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.com/2014/11/13/the-roses-of-no-mans-land-lyn-macdonald/





This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
TheAcorn | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 8, 2019 |

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Richard Aldington Contributor
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Teokset
10
Jäseniä
2,262
Suosituimmuussija
#11,343
Arvio (tähdet)
4.0
Kirja-arvosteluja
20
ISBN:t
66
Kielet
2
Kuinka monen suosikki
2

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