Sunday, November 13, 2005

The War to End All Wars?
Listening to the radio today I remembered a book I found on my grandfather's bookcase when I was young, and which I read over and over again. Simply called Great War Stories it was full of exciting tales of escapes from war-time prisons and accounts of individual bravery and heroism, but the story that made the greatest impression on me was by someone called "Ex Private X" who told of his own experiences at Passchendaele. I didn't realise at the time that it was only a single chapter from a full-length book called War Is War, published in 1930, and that the author was the novelist A. M Burrage, best remembered for some first-rate ghost stories. (One of his short stories, The Waxwork, became a Hitchcock film.) You can read some short extracts from War is War, courtesy of Jon Conquist, on the excellent website.