In June 1918, 130 teenagers arrived in France as just another draft of replacements among the thousands sent to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front. Within the next five months, one in four would be dead, and over half of them wounded. This is the story of the lives and deaths of these ordinary young men in an unimaginable war. Looking beyond the war as portrayed by poets and playwrights, Tim Lynch tells the story of Britain's true Unknown Soldiers—the teenage conscripts who won the war only to be forgotten by history. These were not the naive recruits of 1914 who believed it would all be over by Christmas, but young men who had grown up in wartime: men who knew about the trenches, the gas, and the industrialized slaughter but who, when their time came, answered their country's call anyway. For the first time, following the experiences of a typical reinforcement draft, this book explores what turned men so often dismissed as "shirkers" into a motivated, efficient, and professional army; it also reminds us that in the cemeteries of France and Flanders, behind every headstone is a personal story.