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This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the World War I (1914–18), a war that changed the landscape of the modern world and a catastrophic historical event that must be remembered. Among the very many good books, films and TV series being released this year is the anthology Only Remembered (Random House, 3 July 2014). This collection of words and images, edited by acclaimed writer, playwright, poet and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, comprises pieces selected by leading public figures, including politician Lord Paddy Ashdown, actors Emma Thompson and Miranda Hart and writer Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

ONLY REMEMBERED MICHAEL MORPOGU9780857551283Morpurgo contacted contributors and asked them to send in something interesting, explaining why they thought it was important at this ‘hundred-year moment’. The result is an eclectic, often poignant and extremely personal collection of words and images.

While some of the pieces published are very familiar – such as Wilfred Owen’s ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, a poem whose words are stamped indelibly into so many of our memories – others such as broadcaster/comedian Charlie Higson’s choice of Pat Mills’ comic ‘Charley’s War’ and actor Jeremy Irvine’s account of the life and death of English pilot Captain Albert Ball are less so and, perhaps, are all the more poignant because of that fact.

Morpurgo named the book after a song by folk singer John Tams, which begins and ends the National Theatre adaptation of his work War Horse.
‘Only the truth that in life we have spoken/Only the seed that in life we have sown./These shall pass onwards when we are forgotten./Only remembered for what we have done.’

Morpurgo says that of the 10 million soldiers killed on all sides ‘most never grew old enough to know and be known by their children or their grandchildren.’ Only Remembered is for them.

 

Only Remembered, published by Random House, 3 July 2014. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Royal British Legion and to the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA).

 

See also: The Silent Enemy: How PTSD Damages Our Soldiers – An infographic aiming to raise awareness about PTSD in the military.

 

Notice: Please note the above images and quotations are intended to be for promotional purposes only. In no way, have we have intentionally breached anyone’s copyright.

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