Read Neil Hanson's 'Unknown Soldier' followed after by 'The Thin Yellow Line' by William Moore.
First of all I loved 'Unknown Soldier' and learned so much from it - thanks Hazel. Firstly though, I am not sure that the Unknown Soldier at Westminster was the only body returned for burial on British soil see: http://www.ambaile.o...sp?item_id=1015
It is well written and moving too - as Gilbo posted. Interesting, the 3 different men chosen German, English & American and followed up by the 'Unknown Warrior' being returned with such fantastic ceremony.
Also when 'Unknown Soldier' was reviewed quite a few posts back a comment was placed about Lieut. Col. Graham Seton Hutchison having 38 men shot for surrendering - the post received a response of - Tosh. I was intrigued enough to follow the author's source, hence 'The Thin Yellow Line' in which Moore discusses the matter more thoroughly over two pages. I'm not convinced it is 'Tosh' Moore cites two sources for this information: Seton Hutchison History and Memoir of the 33rd Battalion, Machine Gun Corps.
and see also 33rd Division in France and Flanders
. I wonder if any Forum members have these books?
There are instances of on the spot executions in the heat of the battle and although Moore covers it more thoroughly than Hanson, there are some unknown factors - such as how far away were they when they opened fire on these men? And what happened to the other two men? Did the German's take them? All unanswered unless the other sources cited expand even further. The book was published in 1974 and the author seems to have based some of his sources on interviews and correspondence from eye witnesses regarding Court Martials, executions and details surrounding firing squads etc. I enjoyed the book and though WW1 and cowardice is the mainstay of the book, the author takes the reader back (to just about when Adam was a lad) in terms of military discipline to take the reader forward again and he follows it through with the eventual abolishion of executions.
So I enjoyed and would recommend both.