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Passchendaele - 103 Days in Hell

Alexandra Churchill with Andrew Homes & Jonathan Dyer
This is a beautiful hardback book with a dramatic cover and many photographs and maps. It looks at the actions that made up the Battle of Passchendaele through the eyes of those who were there, from FANY Ambulance Drivers, to soldiers of all ranks and regiments who either lost their lives or survived. The idea is excellent and there has been a lot of research into the individuals, and what happened to the survivors. I like the structure of the book, dealing with the actions one by one, giving the background and then the individual stories. I find the descriptions of each person’s life, how they came to be at that place, and what happened to them informative and fascinating.

However, surprisingly for a Helion publication, I think this book is a let-down. Every page has a spelling error, a missing word, or a section that doesn’t make sense (even though a civilian, I keep a military man in the house, who found some of it incomprehensible too). To spoil the result of years of thorough and extensive research and collaboration by not using a competent proof reader or an editor is a ridiculous example of spoiling the ship for a ha’porth of tar. I would be embarrassed to deliver this as a piece of work and put my name to it.

Amazon product

Two mushroom heads – the research deserves praise, but those mentioned in the book deserved better attention to detail.
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