There are many accounts of the First World War telling the history, examining the strategies or attempting to unravel the causes. Ghosts of War tells the story in a different way through an anthology of poetry and prose bringing to life in an approachable way not just the tragedy but the courage and humour of those who fought.
Most British accounts of the First World War are written from an English viewpoint. Ghosts of War attempts to redress the balance by highlighting the contribution made by Scots to both the poetry and the fighting. I thought it was time this was recognised.
In an armchair! My extensive reading included histories of the First World War and of its causes, the poems of the War Poets and collections of the letters of those who fought.
The most moving moment was in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914 when the dying words of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to his wife were: ‘Sophie, Sophie, don’t die, stay alive for our children.’ Sadly his wife was already dead, killed by the assassin.
Initially I concentrated on the fighting on the Western Front and the poems of the British War Poets. However the First World War was the first global war and I extended the reach of Ghosts of War to include the fighting on the Eastern Front, in Italy and the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa, the Far East and the struggle for supremacy of the seas.