It was billed by its author as ‘one of the great untold stories of the Great War’, but now, following a successful online fundraising campaign, it has been immortalised in print.
The Glorious Dead is the second novel by Boston’s Tim Atkinson.
It was released on Thursday after receiving enough financial support through the crowdfunding website Unbound.
A fictional story, it is set in the aftermath of the First World War.
Tim said: “When the guns fell silent in November 1918, that was just the start of the story for hundreds of British Tommies, many of whom had served in the war but now chose to stay on rather than go home. Their job was searching the old battlefields and burying fallen comrades.
“And like many people I had no idea of their existence until talking to a friend about his grandfather’s wartime service – and lifelong disability. It turns out he’d been gassed – in 1919, long after the shells had stopped firing. What happened was he accidentally released poison gas trapped in an old trench while searching for the bodies of men missing in action.”
Tim’s research took him to Belgium, France, plus the archives of the Imperial War Museum and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
He said: “It’s the personal stories that bring history to life. That’s why I’ve lightly fictionalised what I’ve written. That way we can hear the men talk, get inside their head and really understand these forgotten heroes.”
You can find Tim’s book online and at the Stump’s shop.