A Hundred Years To Arras

By Jason Cobley

From a Somerset farm to the trenches of France: one man's coming of age through land, love and blood

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Did you know...?

Did you know...?

1. 38 million soldiers were killed, wounded or went missing in World War One.

2. 19,240 British soldiers died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

3. In the Battle of Arras, there were 158,660 casualties.

4. In Messines Ridge, British miners detonated 900,000lbs of explosives in one go, destroying the German Front Line. It was so loud that it could be heard in London... apparently.

5. It only took two days for a letter to reach France from Britain. Roughly 12 million letters were delivered to the Front Line each week. With a war on. We can't seem to guarantee that kind of speed these days.

6. The youngest soldier to sign up was just 12 years old, named Sidney...

7. 9 out of 10 soldiers survived the trenches. Most of their lives consisted of routine and boredom, moving around the trench system constantly. There were shenanigans...

8. To combat the boredom, many soldiers kept pets in the trenches. These included pigeons, rabbits and, sometimes, stray dogs were glad to find homes with them...

9. If you're already a supporter of 'A Hundred Years to Arras', you can still top up your support by making a one-off or regular donation. Just click that option - an extra quid or a fiver here and there all helps us get closer to the target. With your patronage, I can get more updates out, release more extracts and get the book into the shops before next Remembrance Day.

10. Most of the above facts are rather pertinent to the story of 'A Hundred Years to Arras'...

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