Empires of the Dead: How One Man's Vision Led to the Creation of WWI's War Gravesby David Crane
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction; the extraordinary and forgotten story of the building of the World War One cemeteries, due to the efforts of one remarkable man, Fabian Ware.Before WWI, little provision was made for the burial of the war dead. Soldiers were often unceremoniously dumped in a mass grave; officers shipped home for burial.The… See more details below
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction; the extraordinary and forgotten story of the building of the World War One cemeteries, due to the efforts of one remarkable man, Fabian Ware.Before WWI, little provision was made for the burial of the war dead. Soldiers were often unceremoniously dumped in a mass grave; officers shipped home for burial.The great cemeteries of WWI came about as a result of the efforts of one inspired visionary. In 1914, Fabian Ware joined the Red Cross, working on the frontline in France. Horrified by the hasty burials, he recorded the identity and position of the graves. His work was officially recognised, with a Graves Registration Commission being set up. As reports of their work became public, the Commission was flooded with letters from grieving relatives around the world.Critically acclaimed author David Crane gives a profoundly moving account of the creation of the great citadels to the dead, which involved leading figures of the day, including Rudyard Kipling. It is the story of cynical politicking, as governments sought to justify the sacrifice, as well as the grief of nations, following the ‘war to end all wars’.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author
David Crane's first book, ‘Lord Byron’s Jackal’ was published to great acclaim in 1998, and his second, ‘The Kindness of Sisters’ published in 2002, is a groundbreaking work of romantic biography. In 2005 the highly acclaimed 'Scott of the Antarctic' was published, followed by ‘Men of War’, a collection of 19th Century naval biographies, in 2009. His ‘Empires of the Dead’ was shortlisted for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize. He lives in north-west Scotland.
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For the military historian or the avid military reader the "Empires Of The Dead" details the life and times of Fabian Ware and his meticulous approach to interring Britain's War Dead on World War I Battlefields. It is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago! Within its bindings the remorse discussion of how to handle multiple (large volume) of KIAs hit home after this writer heard the concept for a new Veterans Cemetery a decade past mirror those grotesque ideologies. The military cemeteries we see scattered across Europe are testimony of how we handle our dead hero's but prior to WWI that was not the case and Fabian Ware's expertise recounts the details.