The Penultimate Man: A Short Story to Commemorate the Centenary of the Conclusion of World War One
With this short story I am proud to support The Royal British Legion at this historic time, the centenary of the conclusion of World War One. I hope you will forgive the brevity of this book but like many a soldier’s life, cut short in his prime, I hope that it will live in your memory, that the poignancy of this story allows you a minute of silence, a moment of reflection where you will remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for what they felt to be a true and just cause.
It was on a Monday, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918, that the war to end all wars came to an end that was for the many, a blessed relief. The indelible physical and mental scars would be carried by those from all sides of the conflict, making their return to a normal life, seem uncertain and confused. It was a period in time when much was expected from the mere mortal.
However, it is to the few that this story relates. It is dedicated to those who had to die in those months, weeks, days, hours and minutes leading up to the ceasefire as well as to those who succumbed to their injuries after the larks sang again above the blood-red poppy fields. It is with The Penultimate Man we focus our attention, a man about to pay the ultimate price in those brief moments before the thunder of war ceased.
On 26th September, 2018, I shall pay homage to a man I never met, my great uncle, William Hollingdrake, who died that day in 1918 and is buried alongside friends in France. My great uncle, a man whose face to me is that of a stranger is a man who carried my very DNA, a man who came through the years from 1914 until that fateful day… so close to the cessation of hostilities and yet so far! As with every passing year, I shall remember him.
The audiobook to this story will also be released in aid of the charity. I am grateful to the support of many in enabling this short story to be brought to you. Thank you for your support.
This was a really moving story and one that makes you think, it definitely stays with you after you have read it.
The story of the Penultimate Man is one that takes you right to the heart of World War I and the dangers facing the soldiers from both sides. Whilst it is only a short story, it really gets over what was happening at that time in history, the impact of the war on the soldiers at the front line and their lovers, families and friends.
Five stars from me – definitely a book I am going to be recommending and one that is raising monies for an excellent cause!