Finding Private Uttley examines the causes of the Great War and life on the Western Front.
The guns of the Great War, the war that was supposed to end all wars, were silenced on 11th November 1918 and the names of the great battles of Loos, Somme, Ypres, Arras and Passchendaele began to pass into history. But those battles are not just names from the past – they were fought by millions of ordinary, amateur soldiers who died, suffered and did their best in the filthy, violent, heartbreaking carnage of the trenches.
Private JW Uttley was one of those millions who volunteered in 1914 to do their duty. This book is about him, but most families in Britain could easily find their own relatives with similar, poignant and moving stories to tell. The First World War touched almost every city, town, village and family in Britain and finding out what ‘Jack’ Uttley did, where he went and what happened to him, helps us recognise what millions of other soldiers achieved. Their stories describe the unimaginable heroism of those in the front line and the horrors of war, and we owe it to those brave soldiers to try to understand why they volunteered and how they fought. The more we know about them, the more likely it is that we will remember the lives that were lost and their sacrifices, which changed our world forever.