Reported Missing in the Great War – 100 Years of Searching For the Truth written by John Broom and published by Pen and Sword Books – £25.00 – Hardback – Pages 287.
Of the one million British and Empire military personnel who were killed in action, dies of wounds, disease or injury or were missing presumed dead during the First World War, over half a million have no known grave. For the families of those who were reported missing, months of agonising uncertainty. This book traces the history of the searching services that were established to assist families in eliciting definitive news of their loved ones. The eventual acceptance of the reality of death and the need to properly commemorate the lives of who would have no marked grave are examined.
An extremely sad book to read, especially when you think about it from the families perspective, not only do you have the sadness and worry of your husband/son/father/brother going off to war, to then have now information or body to commemorate must be devastating for the family. In a way there are people out there trying to give back answers and discover new information that would bring some comfort to those families. This is really what this book is about in that we follow the search to discover new information for about I think 10-12 young men missing in action. It is comforting that some of them are ‘found’ in various ways and families are able to get those answers they need. It’s a fascinating book about research and new technologies that are now able to help. A great book if you like a mystery, and you like to sift through piles of papers and information to put the puzzle together. I would wholeheartedly credit the author John Broom, who has put all this together and has produced a great book that is well written, informative and clear to read. The book also comes amply supplied with a number of photographs and pictures of the soldiers involved. A book that really is good and appeals to those who love collecting information about this fascinating subject.