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The Extinguished Flame (ePub)

Olympians Killed in The Great War

WWI 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918

By Nigel McCrery
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 29.2 MB (.epub)
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781473878006
Published: 27th July 2016

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£15.00 Print price £25.00

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Book of the Month!

Forces War Records Magazine's Book of the Month – August 2016

As featured in the Daily Mail: The stories of athletes who fought their way to Olympic glory before

Click here to read The Telegraph article: How Olympic hammer thrower chosen to hurl grenades at the Germans died on first day of the Somme

 

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In August 2016 the world will be spellbound by the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as 10,500 athletes from 206 countries compete in 306 events. Tracing their origins back to the Greeks in 776 BC, the history of the Olympics is a glorious one but it has had its darker moments.

During the First World War no fewer than 135 Olympians perished. Many had won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. They came not just from the UK, Germany, France, USA but from all over the globe.

Wyndham Halswelle, killed in action on 31 March 1915, won a Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in both field and track events. The Frenchman Leon Flameng, the fastest cyclist ever, died on 2 January 1917, having won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the 1896 Olympics. The German Fritz Bartholomae, killed in action 12 September 1915, won a Bronze in the rowing eights during the 1912 Olympics. The list of these heroes goes on and on.

Each Olympian, who made the supreme sacrifice, is honoured in this magnificent book by a summary of their life, sporting achievement and manner of their death.

Following this authors successful Into Touch concerning Rugby players who perished in the First World War and Final Wicket, the lives and service of Test and First Class cricketers killed in the First World War comes The Extinguished Flame those Olympians killed in the Great War.

Military History Society May 2017

A fitting tribute to those who competed for their country and defended it as well. It is clear that the book is well-researched, a worthy effort to honor those who fought bravely on the frontlines.

NetGalley, reviewed by Katherine Wacker

During the First World War no fewer than 135 Olympians perished. Many had won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. They came not just from the UK, Germany, France, USA but from all over the globe.

Each Olympian, who made the supreme sacrifice, is honoured in this magnificent book by a summary of their life, sporting achievement and manner of their death.

Pennant, Forces Pension Society

As featured on Nibbler's Book Review

Nibbler's Book Review

As featured on Dutchy's Book Reviews.

Dutchy's Book Reviews

This fantastic book was an eye-opener for me as I learned that 135 Olympians, many of the medallists, had lost their lives during the war. Athletes from all over the globe are covered here, with each one individually recorded by the author who has undertaken extensive research to produce what is a new Olympic Roll of Honour.

First-class work. 10/10

The Great War Magazine, November 2016 - reviewed by Mark Marsay

Rio was the home of the 2016 summer Olympics this year. The thirty-first Olympics games to be exact and just like the others in previous years will go down in the history books. But The Extinguished Flame by Nigel McCrey novel was not about this year’s Olympics but the one that occurred in 1912 in Stockholm and the last Olympics to have occurred before World War I. A fair amount of the Olympians went on to defend their country during the Great War. Mr. McCrey's novel recounts their stories of both the Olympics and the War. He does so in a way that would be able to hold onto most readers even the ones who find sport writings to be boring.

NetGalley, reviewed by Kristyna Mackinnon

A tremendous amount of research has gone into this book which details all the Olympians killed in the First World War. It sets out, year by year, athletes from every country who perished. It gives their sport, regiment, medal count and dates of birth and death. It’s a book to dip into rather than read in one go and complements two others on the same theme. “Into Touch” about Rugby players who were killed; and “Final Wicket” which details Test and First class cricketers who perished in WW1.

Rotherham FHS

Detailed book in the first world war sports series showing sportsman who were killed during the great war and getting details on their bio and what events and which games they entered.

NetGalley, reviewed by Stephen Hutchison

I jumped when I stumbled over Nigel McCrery’s The Extinguished Flame: Olympians Killed in the Great War. It sounds disrespectful considering the subject matter, but I enjoy stories of those who served on the front lines and I especially like those volumes that treat them as individuals rather than military units.

McCrery uncovered a lot of forgotten stories in this volume. I can’t imagine the level of research that went into it, but I think the author’s dedication quite obvious. The book is sectioned by year – 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918 – with each Olympian chronicled in order by their date of death. The bios include general details about each athlete with specific information about their service and the Games and events in which they competed. Where possible the author also included photos of each Olympian.

NetGalley, reviewed by Erin Davies

What a fantastic story! This author really knows how to write well developed characters and a great story line to keep you wanting more and more. I am very excited to read more from this author.

NetGalley, reviewed by Melissa Green

I can recommend the book for people who like a book with background material on either the Olympics or the first World War. It lists men from all different countries in short chapters of one to a few pages each.

NetGalley, reviewed by Wytzia Raspe

So many of the athletes at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, served in World War One, and died. So many from earlier Olympics as well. These athletes would have known one another from these and other competitions. Then they were expected to kill each other.

The Extinguished Flame lists all the athletes and as much as is known about them. The biggest losers: fifty British men, twenty-nine French, twenty-two German. Only two Americans...

...The Extinguished Flame offers an interesting look at one part of the lost generation.

NetGalley, reviewed by Terri Wangard

As featured in

Nottingham Post

As featured in.

The Telegraph 3/9/16

As these pages were compiled the world was spellbound by the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, as 10,500 athletes from 2016 countries competed in 306 events. Tracing their origins back to the Greeks in 776 BC, the history of the Olympics is a glorious one but it has had its darker moments. During World War One no fewer than 135 Olympians perished. Many had won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. They came not just from the UK, Germany, France and the USA but from all over the globe. Wyndham Halswelle, killed in action on 31 March 1915, won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in both field and track events. The Frenchman Leon Flameng, the fastest cyclist of his time, died on 2 January 1917, having won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the 1896 Olympics. The German Fritz Bartholomae, killed in action 12 September 1915, won a Bronze in the rowing eights during the 1912 Olympics. The list of these heroes goes on and on. Each Olympian, who made the supreme sacrifice, is honoured in this magnificent book by a summary of their life, sporting achievements and the manner of death.

The Armourer, September/October 2016

What a fantastic story! This author really knows how to write well developed characters and a great story line to keep you wanting more and more. I am very excited to read more from this author.

Melissa Green via NetGalley

As featured in.

The Daily Mail 15/8/16

I jumped when I stumbled over Nigel McCrery’s The Extinguished Flame: Olympians Killed in the Great War. It sounds disrespectful considering the subject matter, but I enjoy stories of those who served on the front lines and I especially like those volumes that treat them as individuals rather than military units.

McCrery uncovered a lot of forgotten stories in this volume. I can’t imagine the level of research that went into it, but I think the author’s dedication quite obvious. The book is section by year – 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918 – with each Olympian chronicled in order by their date of death. The bios include general details about each athlete with specific information about their service and the Games and events in which they competed. Where possible the author also included photos of each Olympian.

Personally, I quite liked the volume and think it offers an interesting snapshot of lives cut short by the Great War. That said, I found the presentation a little dry and unbalanced. Some of the bios are a few pages long while others are only a few paragraphs. One can’t blame the author for this, there simply a lot of information out there on some of these individuals, but as a reader I was frustrated that some stories are very well-documented while other lives boiled down to only a few lines.

I found the writing itself a little bland and didn’t appreciate how the flow felt punctuated as if the author were hitting bullet points with each statement, but I think the book rather insightful just the same and I would definitely recommend it as resource to anyone interested in the men who gave their lives to the Great War.

Erin Davies, Reviewer at Flashlight Commentary

About Nigel McCrery

Born in 1953, Nigel McCrery travelled extensively during his childhood as his father was in the RAF. They settled in Nottingham.

He served in the Nottinghamshire Constabulary between 1978 and 1987. He then read History at Trinity College, Cambridge and joined the BBC graduate entry course. He has written or been responsible for a number of highly successful BBC series and films including Silent Witness, New Tricks and All The Kings Men. He has written over a dozen novels. Into Touch - Rugby Players Killed in The Great War and The Final Wicket - Test and First Class Cricketers killed in The Great War is in print with Pen and Sword Military. Nigel lives in Nottingham.

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