The anthology consists of 26 stories. Each is rooted in fact, though where our writers have chosen to take their stories continues to impress for the sheer adventure of their imaginations. The editors take this opportunity to thank our writers, most particularly for putting up with our tough editing regime.
These are the stories that will feature in TO END ALL WARS
The Iron Dice by Brick
When the prime movers in Europe’s diplomatic spiral towards armed conflict are placed on trial at The Hague, where does the finger of the 10 million sacrificed point?
The Coward’s War by Jonathan Clode
Over 300 British soldiers were shot for desertion in WWI. Their names censured from memorials, history has painted them as traitors. But history is not always as straightforward as we care to remember.
Kapitan Fritz’s Day Trip to Yarmouth by Michael Crouch
With their men at war, the women of Great Yarmouth work the factories and till the land. They have money in their purses and a liberating sense of empowerment… until the airship casts its ominous shadow over their lives.
Allies of Reason by Steven Martin
The British fought for King and Country, the Germans for Kaiser and Reich, but the French were Republicans for whom the insanity of war was cause to finally say, ‘Non!’ Comrades in dissent, one would have to draw the sacrificial straw…
Live and Let Live by Sean Michael Wilson
In the bloodbath of the trenches, enemies discover they are just men in the same living hell. Momentarily they find the space to be humane to each other, even co-operate.
Die and Become by John Stuart Clark
For the German Expressionist Otto Dix, war promises the ultimate experience of rebirth that he cannot afford to miss. But is the horror indelibly etched in his mind worth the price, even for the sake of his art?
Dead in the Water by Ian Douglas
Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen is a U-boote hero with impressive ‘kills’ pinned to his Iron Cross. But something haunts him, whispers to him, impairing his judgment and compromising the safety of his crew.
Between the Darkness by Petri Hänninen
Tank warfare is in its infancy. For two men stranded in a commandeered vehicle, the security of their steel womb is threatened by the fire of revenge building outside.
The Orderly by Bex Burgess
Harry is a simple grunt who thought he’d struck lucky landing in a POW camp for officers. But their farcical demands on his services are driving him crazy. Their plan to break out promises welcomed relief, until Harry’s cornered into joining the escape party.
Il Gatto by Stuart Richards
Adopted by Italian troops entrenched in the Dolomites, a stray tabby becomes a useful pet in their war on rats. Taking off across No Man’s Land, the cat provides comfort to the homesick Austrians but, on his return, is found to be bearing a poignant message that augurs ill.
The Black Chair by Jonathan Clode
Ellis Humphrey Evans was not the hill farmer his brother was, and took his place at the Front with the Royal Welch. But Ellis had poetry in his soul, and would submit from Passchendaele an entry that The National Eistedfodd can never forget.
The Legend of the Leaning Virgin by Lotte Grünseid
Already a focus for pilgrims, one town in Picardy became the source of multiple myths and superstitions that combatants on both sides found hope in. Even as the town was destroyed, the dogged enterprise of its residents ensured the Leaning Virgin became known around the world.
Every Man for Himself by Chris Colley
John Henry got out of Basra just in time, but his love of the ‘East’ was always going to draw him back. He wanted to do his bit, and the merchant navy was the answer to both his desires, until his ship took a hit. But as one sank, his first love blossomed.
The Angel and The Hound by Lex Wilson
On the eve of the big push at the Somme, four squaddies are plagued by the myths, legends and superstitions rampaging through the trenches. Confused and frightened, they go fishing for alcohol to steady their nerves.
The Final Confession of Madame MacLoed by Susan Wallis
The infamous Mata Hari lived a life few could imagine, but her days as an exotic dancer and courtesan were eclipsed by accusations of espionage. As she prepares to meet her fate, she has one last story to tell.
Where Others Follow by Dan Hill
While visiting the Vimy memorial, a teenager tries to convince her brother that the sheep who graze there are not the mindlessly dumb creatures everybody stereotypes them as, an epithet too readily applied to troops who once fought there.
Only Remember by Chris Colley and Faye Turner
In the hope she might honour a life long since forgotten, a young woman tries to uncover the truth about her Great Grandfather’s time in the Bantam battalion.
Memorial to the Mothers by Joe Gordon
For every son and daughter killed in the conflict, a mother, lover, partner or sibling remained behind to stoically carry the pain of their grief into old age. This final story in our anthology pays tribute to them while condemning the politicians and military chiefs who licensed the slaughter from the comfort of their leather chairs and learned nothing from ‘the war to end all wars’.
The Stainless Steel Elephant by Russell Wall and James Guy
The exciting and true story of how Lizzie, an Indian elephant from Sedgwick’s Travelling Wild Beast Show, was deployed for the war effort and propaganda purposes, earning herself the coveted ‘Stainless Steel Elephant’ medal from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
No More Than Cattle by Colm Regan
The war in Africa press-ganged native to fight native on behalf of their German and British colonial masters. In Nayasaland, the liberation theologian John Chilembwe initiated a violent revolt against the white man’s war that dramatically failed but set the stage for later independence.
Bottomley – Brand of Britain by Andrew Luke
Horatio Bottomley, patriot and publisher of John Bull, the newspaper of the people. But behind his rousing public speeches and staunch support of the troops hides a conspiracy that would reveal one of the greatest swindles of WW1.
The Hunter by Sean Fahey
One of Germany’s most decorated fighter pilots, Werner Voss, was second only to the Red Baron himself. But after years of combat, little of his humanity remains. Obsessed with his kill count, he takes to the skies with only one thought in mind – kill or be killed.
Truth Be Told by Pippa Hennessy
George is suspicious that the news reaching the Home Front is only telling people what they want to hear. Branded a coward by his father and against the wishes of his mother, George heads off to France as a freelance war correspondent. He resolves that even if he doesn’t make it home, the truth must.
The Bitter Harvest by Steve Earles
In the early days of WW1, the Battle of Mons showed the soldiers the true horror they would face on the frontline. Struggling to halt the German advance are the Royal Munster Fusiliers. Among the many fighting men are the Hourigan brothers, unsure of the fate that lies ahead of them, but determined to meet it with bravery.
Go Home and Sit Still by Selina Lock
Doctor Elsie Inglis set up one of the first entirely female hospital units of any war. Deployed to Russia, they tended to the Serbian Army. With few resources and in constant danger due to their proximity to the Front, these ordinary Scottish women became pioneers both to medicine and the suffragist cause.
Mud, Lice and Vice by Gary and Warren Pleece
Like too many under-age lads, Dick is eager to get to the Front. Despite incidents that suggest he has been blessed by Lady Luck, the reality of combat and conditions in the trenches hit him hard. But losing his cherry to a Lady of the Night maybe hits him harder when he returns on a ‘Blighty’ to a country that understands even less about the reality of the war.