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Recommendations for How Young They Died
Title: How Young They Died
Author: Stuart Cloete
Publisher: Fontana Books
London and Glasgow, 1971
Original softcover, 11x18 cm, 347 pages
Satisfactory. Cover with few traces of usage, interior clean.
Jim Hilton is a subaltern of eighteen when he goes out to Flanders for the first time in April 1916, and a veteran of twenty-one, twice wounded, married, gazetted Major, by the time his story ends. How Young They Died is a story of courage and the waste of human life in the bloody carnage of Ypres and the Somme that could only have been written by someone who was there among the millions of men who fought and died in an unending sea of mud. It is also the story of the women who waited for those men: the mothers, wives and sweethearts who snatched desperately at moments of pleasure in the frenetic gaiety of wartime leaves in London, returning home to dread every ring of the doorbell. Stuart Cloete shows relentlessly the pressures of war upon indiviuals and society as his young hero seeks to fulfil himself in love as well as in battle and to thread his way between the two ultimate expressions of virility, the taking and making of life.