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Publisher's Summary

A unique collection of historic recordings covering the events of 1915, from the first Zeppelin raids to the ultimate failure at Gallipoli. In this selection of authentic eyewitness accounts, survivors describe the sinking of the Lusitania; the author Compton McKenzie remembers the Gallipoli disaster; and Violet Bonham Carter pays tribute to Rupert Brooke, who died en route to that campaign. In another poignant memoir, a close colleague recalls the last hours of the British nurse Edith Cavell, executed by the Germans for treason.

Women left at home talk about the hazards they faced taking over men’s jobs, particularly in munitions; but it is the troops speaking informally and candidly who convey the truly harrowing nature of the war. Whether helpless during a poison gas attack, or pinned down on the Gallipoli beaches, their memories are bleak.

For one soldier, ordered to take part in a firing squad, there was a further horror: the prospect of shooting a comrade for desertion. As the stalemate of the trenches continued, hopes for 1916 were focused on a radical new invention: the tank.

©2015 BBC Worldwide (P)2015 BBC Worldwide

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  • Jim
  • 16-03-15

The First Full Year of War

A must-have for world war aficionados. The audiobook is made up of authentic interviews supported by narration that details war events in sequence during 1915. The BBC recorded Great War eye witnesses and participants before they died or went senile. Speaking to interviewers are nurses, flyers, sailors and soldiers. These are NOT individuals interviewed at 100-plus years of age just before they died. These recordings date from some decades before. Included is an ex-flyer who describes how his group's instructor took off in an aircraft to illustrate how piloting was done, then crashed and died in front of them. A student nurse of Edith Cavell's in Brussels recounts her teacher's last night before the Germans shot her. There are several ANZAC soldiers reminiscing on Gallipoli and a number of Tommy's doing the same on the Battle of Loos. For those into Great War history this little audiobook is great.

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