A unique book that follows the story of World War I through the lives and deaths of seventy-two soldiers in one small Scottish village.
The war memorial in the Scottish village of Bridge of Weir lists seventy-two men who died during the First World War. Their deaths occurred in almost every theater of the war. They were awarded very few medals, and their military careers were not remarkable—except in the important respect that they, like countless other peaceful civilians, answered their country’s call in its time of need.
This book follows the lives of these sons of Bridge of Weir, not just as soldiers, sailors, and airmen, but as husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, and members of a small community that felt their loss intensely. At the same time, it also paints a larger picture of the war, of the politicians and generals and military campaigns that shaped it. The brave men of Bridge of Weir knew little of the wider context—their experience was of the smaller histories in which they fought and died. Readers of this book will understand what the seventy-two never knew: why and how the war that claimed their lives was fought.