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Till the Boys Come Home (ePub)

Military WWI

By Tonie Holt, Valmai Holt
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 47.0 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781473841017
Published: 12th December 2014


£4.99 Print price £25.00

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This is a new edition of this classic book which includes, in its over 700 postcards, many new, powerful propaganda images from nations on both sides of this epic conflict. Here are cards from the Queen's Collection, cards from America, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Rumania, Salonika, Serbia... All are faithfully reproduced from the original, whether in dramatic black and white or in exuberant colour and they are all at least 100 years old. But this is not just a picture book.

Here is a rich treasure trove to be dipped into for dilettante pleasure or to be read seriously as a thematic and contemporary history of the war. These cards have been collected over many years and a good number are rare and extremely valuable, both intrinsically and for the fascinating information contained in the informative running text and in the thoughtful captions (an example appears below, just one of the over 700).

This is essential reading for anyone who wishes to sense the feelings and emotions of those who lived through, and fought in, the First World War; readers will appreciate the Twitter-like brevity of the captions, the power of the images and enjoy the chase to understand what lies behind them.

This handsome and fascinating book uses hundreds of the immensely popular picture postcards of the '14-'18 period to document the course and effects of the Great War, with all its dramatis personae, its humour, suffering, patriotism, sentimentality and fervour.

The first edition was in 1977, and many more postcards have been added to this edition. No expense has been spared, there is full colour throughout on top-quality paper and it's almost heavy enough to do duty as a coffee-table book. One can hardly imagine a greater contrast between these items initially sold at ½d each and now lovingly memorialised in this quality volume.

I was fascinated - and for the right person it would make a super gift.

Friends of the National Archives

As featured on

In The Footsteps

A real pleasure to look at, if you have a love of images, be they via the brush, pen or developing tray, this book will really appeal to you. If you are looking for a different perspective of the Great War then look no further.

War History Online

Tonie and Valmai Holt and avid collectors of military postcards take the reader on a journey that is almost a window on the war... As a guide and study to the collection of period postcards it is essential.

Britain at War

A welcome centenary reprint of a pictorial classic.

This England

As seen in.

Kent Family History Society Journal

A really good look at the cards used for varying purposes during the war by both the Allies and Axis and a good look at social history of that tragic era,

Army Rumour Service

This book documents the events and effects of the First World War with more than 700 postcards depicting the powerful propaganda images used by the nations involved in the conflict. These cards have been collected over many years and some are very rare and extremely valuable.

East Kent Mercury

Till the Boys Come Home is an excellent book that you can look at time and time again enjoying every postcard in the knowledge that this is part of our history. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Paul Diggett

This fascinating 330-page book, compiled by military historian Tonie Holt and his wife Valmai...documents the progress of the Great War with its humour, patriotism and sentimentality. 'Till the Boys Come Home' goes much further, recalling the widespread popularity of the picture postcard between 1900 and 1919 when nearly every household proudly displayed its postcard album... Each of the 700-plus images of the picture postcards carries a detailed explanation and the Holts, in this book, recount the stages of the long war that claimed so many lives in Europe and beyond.

Dover Express

This handsome and fascinating book uses hundreds of the immensely popular picture postcards of the 14-18 period to document the course and effects of the Great War

Suppressing Fire

As long as there are coffee-table books like this, there will always be a market for good old-fashioned books like this; a book to hold and carefully turn the pages. I've not joined the Kindle revolution yet - although I've been contemplating it of late - but I can't imagine a coffee-table Kindle. This is, quite simply, lovely to hold, lovely to smell, lovely to read.

The authors know their subject well and as someone who has, over the years, collected postcards, sold them, collected more, and more, and sold some more, I can thoroughly recommend this orderly and well organised study of these First World War era postcards. The book is published to the usual high standards that we have come to expect from Pen & Sword and the pages are packed with illustrations. There are some great artists here, some great humour - at a time when laughter was often thin on the ground - and helpful commentary.

This is a book which would make a great Christmas present or indeed a present to oneself. It gets five stars from me and a huge pat on the back to all concerned with the authoring and production.

Paul Nixon, Amazon Reviewer

About Tonie Holt

Major and Mrs Holt founded the first organisation to offer battlefield tours to the general public in the late 1970s. Since the 1990s they have been writing their series of guide books, incorporating all that they have learned from their experiences conducting thousands of people around battlefields. This series, designed to serve as companions for travellers, whether sitting at home or physically visiting the battlefields, includes detailed travel directions, military history, fascinating anecdotes and tourist information. The Holts share the writing of their books equally and conduct all their own research, spending many weeks on the ground as they prepare each new book or update previously published titles.

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