Unknown Soldiers by Neil Hanson
Amid an outpouring of national grief, the Unknown Soldier was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey. An anonymous symbol of all those lost without a trace in the carnage of the battlefields, nearly every combatant nation would later bury their own Unknown Soldier.
Drawing on largely unpublished letters and diaries, Neil Hanson has resurrected the lives and experiences of three unknown soldiers – a Briton, a German and an American – based on the actual testimonies of those who fought, those who died and those who mourned at home. Few books have ever shown the terrible reality of warfare in such compelling, unforgettable detail, or told such a moving story of human life and loss. The rare insight into these three soldiers’ lives reveals the Great War in all its horror and tragedy.
Amid all their sufferings, the common humanity of the men and their loved ones shines through. Each soldier lives on in the memory of his family to this day. They stand at the head of a ghost army three million strong, all of whom have no known grave. Their story is the story of The Unknown Soldier.
Neil Hanson is the author of three acclaimed works of narrative history: The Custom of the Sea, The Dreadful Judgement and The Confident Hope of a Miracle. He lives in Yorkshire with his family.