Published: 28/05/2015
ISBN: 9781784622497
eISBN: 9781784628949
Format: Paperback/eBook



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Many A Shadow
by David Barter

There are seven billion people on this planet and each of them have a different story to share. This is just one person’s tale.

William Turner was a country lad, born in a small farm cottage in Oxfordshire at the end of the First World War. Growing up in this rural idyll, William thrived, attending school and becoming an apprentice carpenter. Before long, William was called into the army, where he was part of the Normandy invasion and the subsequent bitter fighting throughout France.

Detailing his life before, during and after the war, Many A Shadow follows William from his humble beginnings ­– playing pranks with his friends at his village school – through to the sleepless nights he spent pondering the horrors he had witnessed in Normandy.

Aged just 26 when he returned home, William had already lived two lives – one of a simple country boy; another in the army on active service ­– but now he was to embark on a new life as a husband, to a wife he had never spent longer than three months with, and a father to two children, one of whom he had never seen before.

As the book concludes, William considers the bestiality of war and how it has changed him, wondering if there are perhaps no winners in life; only survivors. Many A Shadow is the story of just one man, but William’s tale is not dissimilar from the hundreds of others like him who were uprooted from their homes and forced to fight for their country.

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For people of a certain age, the story evokes nostalgic memories of a time of innocence and values that seem a long way from today’s materialistic and self-absorbed world.
For the generation that is to take this world forward, it is a story that could lead enquiring minds to delve into a world far removed from the accepted realities of today. Educators should harness this work to steer young minds to understand the social development of today’s world and to learn to appreciate the emergence of our complex society from its simple and harsh beginnings through the life of an ordinary man’s experiences.
The story contains all the elements of growing up; rural isolation, family, love, turmoil and conflict without the glorification or gratification of any of those aspects. It has the potential to enable the shadows of this man’s memory to shed light on our fascinating and, in many ways forgotten, social history for today’s young minds through a landscape for which they have no points of reference.

Sandra Love, Local Authority Head of Education, Quality and Support Services (retired)

by Sandra Love


 

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