The WW1OHA was set up in 1987 by Nicholas Boyack and Jane Tolerton. They put out a press release asking veterans who wanted to be interviewed – not only about the battles but about aspects of the war that had not been covered in the historiography. Veterans in their late eighties and early nineties wanted to talk about what had happened to them and to reflect on how it had affected their lives.
This book consists of edited versions of the interviews with the three youngest veterans. Each part starts with the facts about the man’s service, mainly drawn from his personnel file, so that it is easy to follow when things happened, and where. It is organised for the general reader, including secondary students – who will be able to draw a contrast between someone turning 16 just after the Battle of the Somme and themselves.
The book ends with a conclusion looking at similarities between the men and their experiences. They were all at work at age 13 and all married women they had met before the war within a couple of years of their return.