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What Tommy took to War, 1914-18

Overview

A century may now have passed since the Great War, but the stories of everyday soldiers serving in miserable and life-threatening conditions still have a sobering sense of immediacy. Personal records, photographs and sentimental possessions that bring us even closer to the soldier as a person have often become valuable heirlooms, passed down through the generations. Nothing better depicts an individual soldier than these items, which were kept about his person and in his kitbag, and which constituted all his ...

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What Tommy Took to War, 1914-1918

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Overview

A century may now have passed since the Great War, but the stories of everyday soldiers serving in miserable and life-threatening conditions still have a sobering sense of immediacy. Personal records, photographs and sentimental possessions that bring us even closer to the soldier as a person have often become valuable heirlooms, passed down through the generations. Nothing better depicts an individual soldier than these items, which were kept about his person and in his kitbag, and which constituted all his worldly possessions while on service in the trenches. This book looks at fifty objects with which every Tommy would have been familiar, from official uniform and equipment to good-luck charms and letters from sweethearts. With each artifact – be it an identity disc, training manual, packet of cigarettes, postcard or foreign phrasebook – the accompanying text explains the significance of all the things that, together, help to define him both as a man and as a soldier.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"'Tommy Atkins,' as the British public nicknamed the men who went to war, was burdened with around 60 pounds of extra clothing, weapons, ammunition, and cleaning supplies. After a pithy introduction that describes the British World War I uniform over time and in various climates, a spread per item (one full-page photo opposite descriptive text) in this small book catalogs Tommy’s belongings. They range from military supply such as paybooks and medals to keepsakes that comforted the inexperienced combatants—only around 400,000 of the four million were peacetime soldiers—so far from home. Well researched, absorbing, and affecting." —Henrietta Verma, Library Journal
Library Journal
04/15/2014
"Tommy Atkins," as the British public nicknamed the men who went to war, was burdened with around 60 pounds of extra clothing, weapons, ammunition, and cleaning supplies. After a pithy introduction that describes the British World War I uniform over time and in various climates, a spread per item (one full-page photo opposite descriptive text) in this small book catalogs Tommy's belongings. They range from military issue such as paybooks and medals to keepsakes that comforted the inexperienced combatants—only around 400,000 of the four million were peacetime soldiers—so far from home. VERDICT Well researched, absorbing, and affecting.—HV
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780747814030
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/18/2014
  • Series: Shire General Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 986,470
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Doyle is a scientist, military historian and author. His previous books for Shire include The British Soldier of the First World War and First World War Britain. He lives in Great Britain.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
The 50 Items: King's Shilling
Recruitment Letter
Good Luck Charm
Soldier's Photograph
Training Manual
Uniform Jacket
Cold Weather Equipment
Puttees
Identity Disc
Cap
Gor Blimey Cap
Cap Badge
Sun Helmet
Webbing Equipment
Leather Equipment
Bandolier Equipment
Rifle
Rifle-cleaning Kit
Bayonet
Machine Gun
PH Helmet (gas mask)
SBR (gas mask)
Mess Kit
Cleaning Kit
Personal Kit
Clasp Knife
Newspaper
Field Service Postcard
Bully Beef
Pay Book
Silk Postcard
Letter from Home
Map of the Front
Postcard From Egypt
Phrase Book
Rum Jar
Barbed-Wire Cutters
Trench Club
Trench Knife
Candle
Cigarettes
Trench Lighter
Barbed Wire
Shovel
Wound Badge
Casualty Letter
Medals
Death Plaque
Poppy

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