“Only those who had been through battle could really know…”

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Starting next week, Year 9 boys will be coming into the Wodehouse Library to work on their World War I history project.

We asked a couple of the pupil librarians to delve in to the new display of World War I books and find something interesting to share…

Nadzirul, a year 12 boy, found his eye drawn to J. M. Winter’s book World War I : the experience and suggested that the following encapsulates the title and the intention of the book:

“Only those who had been through battle could really know how human beings could be squashed like ants or rearranged like ‘ghastly dolls’, as the British writer Siegfried Sassoon put it. Many soldiers developed a defensive callousness after having seen dismembered corpses time and again. What ex-soldiers recalled in later years varied substantially. In R. H. Mottram’s Spanish Farm Trilogy (1924-27), it was not a legless man but a headless man who continued to haunt the central character. Others blotted such images out of their minds for ever.”

Winter, J. M. World War I : the experience, p.146. London: Angus Books Ltd; 2006

These words accompany a photograph, one of three on the same double page spread, that emphasize the horror of war.

For Ayman, a year 9 boy already working on the project, the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Guide book World War I stood out because of its usefulness for different parts of the project requirements. In particular the technology and the weaponry used, all illustrated and annotated. The book offers bite-sized chunks of information which many year 9 boys should find helpful throughout their work on this important history project.

You can find the new display in the Wodehouse Library, near the Issue Desk in the IT Area and, of course, you can check their availability for loan using LibCat.


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