The Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players

Overview

This is the story of fifteen men killed in the Great War. All played rugby for one London club; none lived to hear the final whistle.

Rugby brought them together; rugby led the rush to war. They came from Britain and the empire to fight in every theatre and service, among them a poet, playwright and perfumer. Some were decorated and died heroically; others fought and fell quietly. Together their stories paint a portrait in miniature of the ...

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The Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players

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Overview

This is the story of fifteen men killed in the Great War. All played rugby for one London club; none lived to hear the final whistle.

Rugby brought them together; rugby led the rush to war. They came from Britain and the empire to fight in every theatre and service, among them a poet, playwright and perfumer. Some were decorated and died heroically; others fought and fell quietly. Together their stories paint a portrait in miniature of the entire war.

Founded in 1879, when British soldiers fought in Afghanistan as they do today, Rosslyn Park has no war memorial. An old press cutting gave numbers – 350 served, 72 died – but no names. So began a quest to rediscover these men and capture their lives, from their vanished Edwardian youth and vigour, to the war they fought and how they died.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fresh and fascinating take on the impact of the Great War with a novel and moving focus." —Ian Hislop

"This is a deeply moving book about the loss of fifteen members of Rosslyn Park rugby club during the Great War… these young men, all so promising, are poignantly and vividly recalled." —Max Arthur

"Stephen Cooper has written a haunting and beautiful book. Here we see the grinding slaughter and the everyday humanity of men hurled into the abyss of modern warfare at its most terrible. His book tells the story of men from one rugby club but it is a universal narrative of heroism and loss. He writes superbly and has produced a book of commendable scholarship. I cannot recommend it enough." —Fergal Keane

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780752499000
  • Publisher: The History Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 383
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

STEPHEN COOPER has played and coached rugby for over forty years. After Cambridge, he worked in advertising and now runs a military charity. His grandfather survived the Battle of the Somme and inspired in him a lifelong fascination with the First World War. He lives in London. The author royalties are donated to two charities: The Rosslyn Park Injury Trust Fund and Prostrate Cancer UK.
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