Soldiering On: British Tommies After the First World War

Genre: Non Fiction

For Fans Of

Gary Sheffield Richard van Emden Max Arthur

Book Summary

A month after the Armistice, Prime Minister David Lloyd George promised to make Britain a 'land fit for heroes'. At the time, it was widely believed. Returning soldiers expected decent treatment and recognition for what they had done, yet the fine words of 1918 were not matched by actions. The following years saw little change, as a lack of political will watered down any reform. Beggars in trench coats became a common sight in British cities.

Soldiering On examines how the Lost Generation adjusted to civilian life; how they coped with physical and mental disabilities and struggled to find jobs or even communicate with their family. This is the story of men who survived the trenches only to be ignored when they came home. Using first-hand accounts, Adam Powell traces the lives of veterans from the first day of peace to the start of the Second World War, looking at the many injustices ex-servicemen bore, while celebrating the heroism they showed in the face of a world too quick to forget.


This meticulously researched and well-written book offers a glimpse into the problems faced by our ancestors as they returned home from war.

It would be impossible to do other than recommend this valuable study of long-term human consequences of the Great War in the United Kingdom for its eye-opening content and skilled authorship.

From individuals' stories to government policies (or lack thereof), Soldiering On bears powerful witness to the human cost of war.

About the Author

Adam Powell studied History at Newcastle University and has taught the subject for over twenty years in international schools. He originally trained as a journalist and worked for a range of publications, writing satirical pieces for The Voice of Reason, Deadbrain and Humorfeed and The Sabotage Times. He was also included in the People of Few Words humor anthology. He is married to the children’s author, Carmen Powell, and has one daughter.
His book, Soldiering On, about how World War 1 veterans survived after the war was published in 2019.

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