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  • Six Weeks

  • The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War
  • By: John Lewis-Stempel
  • Narrated by: Roger Davis
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Six Weeks

By: John Lewis-Stempel
Narrated by: Roger Davis
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Summary

The extraordinary story of British junior officers in the First World War, who led their men out of the trenches and faced a life expectancy of six weeks.  

During the Great War, many boys went straight from the classroom to the most dangerous job in the world - that of junior officer on the Western Front. Although desperately aware of how many of their predecessors had fallen before them, nearly all stepped forward, unflinchingly, to do their duty. 

The average life expectancy of a subaltern in the trenches was a mere six weeks.  

In this remarkable work, John Lewis-Stempel focuses on the forgotten men who truly won Britain's victory in the First World War - the subalterns, lieutenants and captains of the Army, the leaders in the trenches, the first 'over the top', the last to retreat. 

Basing his narrative on a huge range of first-person accounts, including the poignant letters and diaries sent home or to their old schools, the author reveals what motivated these boy-men to act in such an extraordinary, heroic way. 

He describes their brief, brilliant lives in and out of the trenches, the tireless ways they cared for their men and how they tried to behave with honour in a world where their values and codes were quite literally being shot to pieces.

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©2019 John Lewis-Stempel (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about Six Weeks

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful history, masterfully read.

Both poetic in writing and forthright in its narrative. Stempel performs the balancing act of writing a beautiful book on the most ugly of subjects.

The narration by Roger Davis was perfect for a book that leans heavily on works of fiction and poetry, these were sensitively, and powerfully recited.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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Disappointing

For anyone who has read around this subject there is nothing new here. Indeed the same old chesnuts crop up however much we admire them. Sassoon, Graves, R.C.Sheriff, Drake Brockman I've heard it all before. Indeed, some of the best-known schools whose sacrifice was the greatest don't even get a mention.

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Superb

The most wonderful of tributes to a magnificent generation, by author and reader alike. Faultless.

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A terrific read!

Beautifully written, an in-depth following of Subalterns from Schooling to the horrors of the trenches. Well structured and with many accounts from across the war and ranks. A book that needed to be written, showing the struggles of low ranking officers.

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Remember them

A moving insight into the life of a junior officer on the Western Front. We owe the men that fought so much. They should not be forgotten, but remember with such respect for their fight and sacrifice.
A Well written piece. I grew accustomed to the narration and in the end felt it was well done.

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Excellent

What they gave is beyond compensation in this day and age a could never be repeated.