Missing, The Need for Closure after the Great War

Everyone eventually dies but sudden early death is a severe shock for the bereaved, more invasive when the body has not been located or recovered. The author has a lengthy interest in The Great War and provides a unique appraisal of an often neglected consequence of the conflict. – Most Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Missing, The Need for Closure after the Great War
FILE: R3103
AUTHOR: Richard van Emden
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £20.00                                                               
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War I, World War 1, World War One, First World War, The 
Great War, casualties, bereavement, war dead, missing in action, trench warfare, war 
graves

ISBN: 1-52676-096-7

PAGES: 292
IMAGE: B3103.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/t2pxsrv
DESCRIPTION: Everyone eventually dies but sudden early death is a severe shock 
for the bereaved, more invasive when the body has not been located or recovered. The 
author has a lengthy interest in The Great War and provides a unique appraisal 
of an often neglected consequence of the conflict. – Most Highly Recommended.

The  Great War was the first industrialized war and ushered in a large number of 
completely new threats to the protagonists. Between 1914 and 1918 it raged across 
the globe, on and under the oceans, on land and in the air. In the process it also 
involved civilians of all ages in an intensity that had never before been experienced. 
Submarines and surface ships sank with most, or all, hands, or caught fire and 
exploded with enormous loss of life. 

In the air, fire was the real threat after bullets, with the flimsy inflammable aircraft 
and airships crashing in flames. Fear was so great of fire, that many pilots carried at 
least one pistol to kill themselves rather than be burnt alive. Some pilots jumped from 
their burning aircraft without parachutes, rather than burning to death. 

In the trenches and 'No Man's Land' the carnage was at a whole level further. 
Thousands of young men  died with even the smallest frontal attacks from their 
trenches. Entangled in barbed wire, they were cut to pieces by the machine guns. At a 
slower rate, but still a terrible total, soldiers were killed in their trenches by snipers 
for a momentary lapse of attention. Many died deep under ground as they tunnelled 
towards the enemy trenches and many more were killed when tunnellers managed to 
built a huge stockpile of explosives under their trenches.

The composite effect was that millions of soldiers, sailors and airmen were never 
identified or recovered after death. The 'Unknown Soldier' epitomised The Great War 
in remembrance of the millions never even recovered, much less identified and 
returned to their families for burial. More than one hundred years on, remains are still 
being recovered. Great effort is expended in attempting to identify the remains and 
military funerals still take place, attended by grandchildren and great grandchildren.

In addition to the war dead, there were the living dead and the deserters. Medical care 
meant that many more soldiers survived serious wounds than in any previous wars. 
Not all of them were identified, suffering terrible injuries physical and mental. Many 
soldiers simply broke under the continuous bombardment. Some were sent back to 
lengthy treatment but a great number just ran and either disappeared or were captured 
and shot.

The terrible human cost of The Great War extended to the bereaved who were left to 
wonder what had happened to their loved ones. Some found a form of closure, often 
through attending remembrance services over the decades. Many were so affected that 
their lives effectively stopped when they were unable to achieve any closure. It was a 
harrowing story and it has been told compassionately in this book, with two photo-
plate sections in support of the text.