Living on the Western Front : Annals and Stories 1914-1919
Living on the Western Front provides a highly original history of the settler experience in Befland ([B]ritish [E]xpeditionary [F]orce land) during the First World War. Using an unusual representational form that involves the stitching together of over a hundred extracts from primary sources, which can then in turn be read either chronologically or thematically, Chris Ward brilliantly depicts a sense of settlers' lives in Great War Belgium, Northern France and Germany. Simultaneously an annal and an anthology of stories, this book tells us about landscapes, sounds, smells, food, journeys, memory and morale in the way that the Befland settlers actually lived and experienced them.
The book also challenges popular conceptions of what history writing can or should be. It drags us away from the reassuringly commanding authorial voice of the conventional historical narrative towards an approach that brings a degree of uncertainty and encourages us to experiment with History and its relationship with the past in an exciting and rewarding way.