Wednesday 7 March 2012

The Englishman's Daughter

Finished March 6
The Englishman's Daughter: a true story of love and betrayal in World War I by Ben Macintyre
Near the beginning of World War I, many Allied soldiers found themselves behind enemy lines on the western front. This concentrates on four British soldiers that were forced to hide for years in a tiny French village called Villeret. Other soldiers similarly trapped in the area are also touched included, but the author concentrates on these four particularly because he became aware of their story when invited to a memoiral service at their gravesite in the late 1990s. He didn't at first understand why he'd been invited, until he was introduced to an elderly woman after the service. She told him of the seven British soldiers hidden in the village, that three had eventually managed to escape and make their way home, and that four were betrayed and given up to the Germans. She said "Those seven British soldiers were our soldiers. One of them was my father."
He was hooked and delved through records in France, Britain and Germany, visitied the village again and again digging into the stories and memories of the people there, most of them descendants of the people whose lives were lived there during that time. This is the story he discovered, and, as he says, it made the war personal to him, because the stories made the soldiers individuals who came alive for him. It is a fascinating tale of one small village during the war.


  1. Is this published as 'A Foreign Field' in UK? Looks really interesting.

  2. So glad you linked in to War Through The Generations with this one. You read such interesting books, I'm glad others will read your reviews.

  3. Yes it was published as "A foreign field : a true story of love and betrayal in the Great War"

    I picked it up when I was weeding our history section at the library because it looked interesting.