The Lost Tommies by Ross Coulthart

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War with its cult of heroism is humanity’s death wish, and The Lost Tommies makes me grateful for my self-protective cowardice.
-Guardian

Synopsis

‘Lost Tommies’ brings together never-before-seen images of Western Front tommies and their amazing stories in a beautiful collection that is part thriller, part family history and part national archive.

For much of the First World War, the small French village of Vignacourt was always behind the front lines – as a staging point, casualty clearing station and recreation area for troops of all nationalities moving up to and then back from the battlefields on the Somme. Here, one enterprising photographer took the opportunity of offering portrait photographs. A century later, his stunning images were discovered, abandoned, in a farm house.

Captured on glass, printed into postcards and posted home, the photographs enabled soldiers to maintain a fragile link with loved ones at home. In ‘Lost Tommies’, this collection covers many of the significant aspects of British involvement on the Western Front, from military life to the friendships and bonds formed between the soldiers and civilians. Beautifully reproduced, it is a unique collection and a magnificent memorial.

 

About Ross Coulthart

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Ross Coulthart is a winner of the Walkley Award for excellence in journalism. Duncan McNab is a former policeman and private investigator, and the author of The Dodger: Inside the World of Roger Rogerson and The Usual Suspect: The Life of Abe Saffron.
 
Published May 5, 2016 by William Collins. 400 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, War. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Peter Conrad on May 29 2016

War with its cult of heroism is humanity’s death wish, and The Lost Tommies makes me grateful for my self-protective cowardice.

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