The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Background information when reading Wake

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Wake

by Anna Hope

Wake
  • Critics' Opinion:

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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Feb 2014, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Photograph of the replica coffin of Britain's Unknown Soldier by Hugh NightingaleWhen English clergyman Reverend David Railton spied a British grave marked "Unmarked British Soldier" in 1916, he developed the idea for a national war memorial. It would take until 1920, however, for his idea to come to fruition, but this proved to be the perfect time. Two years after the end of World War I there were still tens of thousands of dead British soldiers unidentified. Feelings of despair and disbelief over the atrocities of the war plagued many people in Britain. The wives and parents of soldiers who were still unaccounted for did not have any place or any thing tangible to grieve. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier was designed to provide a place for their grief and healing.

Photograph of the Unknown Soldier in France by Michael ReeveThe process of choosing the corpse to reside in the special tomb followed a specific procedure. Unidentified bodies, taken at random, from burial sites at four different battlefields - Aisne, Somme, Ypres, and Arras - were laid out on top of Union Jacks (the British flag). There were rumors that the ...

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