Malcolm Brown’s fourth book for the British Imperial War Museum is “1918: Year of Victory.” He’s a wonderful writer, so engaging and personable, and of course he has access to a huge source of contemporaneous diaries, letters and memoirs with which to tell his stories.
He begins the book with a recap of 1917 to explain the resigned despair with which everyone involved began 1918 and ends in 1919 by contrasting the words of those who thought the war really had ended all wars with those who could already see World War II coming.
I was inspired to read this book now because of “Downton Abbey” – Cousin Matthew and William were just at Amiens (American viewer; no spoilers, please!). I knew it was in 1918, but since the entire series appears to be taking place in the summer, I wasn’t sure when. August 8th, as you may know. It was the start of the Last Hundred Days.
The war began for the British along this road, or so the plaque says, on Aug. 23, 1914. It ended very near here on Nov. 11, 1918.