Joseph didn't want to go to war. He wasn't a conscientious objector, but neither was he garlanded with battle honours. He resembles none of our burnished archetypes and he isn't the sort of man books are normally written about.
He fought only because a military tribunal forced him to. That tribunal sat in Westminster, many miles away, and it was led by the Marquess of Salisbury. The Westminster decision so enraged Joseph's friends and neighbours that his own, local tribunal went on strike.
Drawing on legal records and vibrant newspaper reports of the time, Joseph, 1917 raises an interesting question - if you put a man in harm's way then realise you made a mistake, shouldn't you at least try to make amends?
The book also offers some thoughts on tribunals and the law they applied and about the different ways they let Joseph down. But it is also interested in the events and characters of the time and the strange story of the place Joseph called home. Joseph, 1917 is a book that is different in its subject and its scope from almost every other one published about the war and would serve as the perfect complement to those books.
It combines several genres in which there is currently great interest - not only is it a military history, it is a life story and it contains a good deal of social history (and even genealogy) and legal and political history.
It is likely to appeal not only to devotees of Richard Holmes, but also to people who enjoy Who Do You Think You Are? and The Secret History of My Family and to readers of History Today.
Find it in your local library...
BiographyFamily SagaHistoricalLocal HistoryMemoirNon-fictionWar
- Publishing Details:
- Troubador, 2017