The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War

The Living Unknown Soldier A Story of Grief and the Great War The powerful story of a soldier who lost his memory and identity and of a people in mourning who found in him their own missing men In February a derelict soldier was discovered wandering the r

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  • Title: The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War
  • Author: Jean-Yves Le Naour Penny Allen
  • ISBN: 9780805079371
  • Page: 309
  • Format: Paperback
  • The powerful story of a soldier who lost his memory and identity, and of a people in mourning who found in him their own missing men In February 1918, a derelict soldier was discovered wandering the railway station in Lyon, France With no memory of his name or past, no identifying possessions, marks, or documents, the soldier given the name Anthelme Mangin was sent to anThe powerful story of a soldier who lost his memory and identity, and of a people in mourning who found in him their own missing men In February 1918, a derelict soldier was discovered wandering the railway station in Lyon, France With no memory of his name or past, no identifying possessions, marks, or documents, the soldier given the name Anthelme Mangin was sent to an asylum for the insane When, after the Great War ended, the authorities placed the soldier s image in advertisements to locate his family, hundreds of relatives claimed him as their father, son, husband, or brother who had failed to return from the front.Marshaling a vast array of original material, from letters and newspaper articles to accounts of battlefield deaths, hospital reports, and police files, French historian Jean Yves Le Naour meticulously re creates the long forgotten story of the single soldier who came to stand for a lost generation With humane sympathy and the skill of a novelist, Le Naour recounts the twenty year court battles waged by the families competing to take the amnesiac soldier home In the process, he portrays not just the fate of one individual but the rank and file s experience in the trenches and an entire nation s great and inconsolable grief following a war that consumed the lives of one million men.Dramatic, taut, and powerfully relevant to our own times, this heartrending history depicts the pain and turmoil of a society that, without bodies to bury, is caught between holding on and letting go.

    One thought on “The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War”

    1. An excellent, if heartbreaking, read. Gives the reader a powerful glimpse into the emotional wreckage left behind the Great War, as well as a tantalizing taste of what constituted mental-health services in those days. The only bad guy in this story of unending legal wrangling and desperate uncertainty is the War itself.

    2. Powerful story, but could have been told in a better organized manner. At times it felt meandering and repetitive. yet, the impact of the story resounds through, leaving is mark on the reader.

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